Figures published by Switzerland’s Federal Statistical Office (FSO) on 2 September 2022 show annual inflation running at 3.5% in August, up from 3.4% in July.
Switzerland’s consumer price index (CPI) was up slightly in August 2022 compared with the previous month, and 3.5% higher compared with the same month of the previous year, said FSO.
Inflation in Switzerland kicked off in late 2021 before rising more significantly from February 2022. Annual inflation was 1.5% in December 2021. By February 2022 it had jumped to 2.2% and has risen consistently since then to 3.5% at the end of August 2022.
The 0.3% rise between July and August 2022 was driven by higher hospital costs, higher welfare costs and higher rent. These price increases have been partly offset by lower petrol and diesel prices, cheaper rental vehicles and lower priced laboratory analyses, reported the FSO.
So far Switzerland has been spared the high inflation experienced many other nations. This is partly due to a rising Swiss franc reducing the cost of imported goods and services. On 2 September 2022, one Swiss franc was worth 1.023 Euros. At the end of 2021, the same rate was 0.964, 5.8% less.
The Swiss union SGB/USS demanded pay rises of 4-5% this week. At the same time businesses are digesting the impact of higher costs, energy costs in particular, so pay negotiations are likely to be heated this autumn.
There is also the risk that any pay increases push inflation even higher as more money makes its way into the pockets of workers, who then spend it on goods and services.