ZURICH, March 19 (Reuters) - The Swiss government cut its growth forecasts for this year and next after the Swiss National Bank removed its cap on the franc, but said there were no signs of a severe slowdown.
“Seen from the today’s viewpoint Switzerland may experience a temporary economic slowdown,” economists at the State Secretariat for Economics (SECO) said in a statement on Thursday. “However, in the current environment there are no signs of any sharp downturn - with a marked fall in economic activity and sharp rise in unemployment.”
It saw the economy expanding 0.9 percent this year and 1.8 percent in 2016.
Before the cap ended, it had expected growth of 2.1 percent this year and 2.4 percent next year, but warned last month that a soaring franc would hurt economic growth and lead it to lower its predictions.
It forecast consumer prices would fall 1.0 percent this year before rising 0.3 percent in 2016.
The forecasts come shortly before Switzerland’s central bank convenes for its first regular monetary policy meeting since abandoning the franc cap in January and allowing the currency to float freely. (Reporting By Katharina Bart; Editing by Michael Shields)