Swiss unemployment accelerates
Unemployment rate in Switzerland rose to 3.0 percent in December as inflation slows sharply to 0.7 percent.GENEVA – Inflation in Switzerland fell sharply to 0.7 percent in December while the unemployment rate accelerated to 3.0 percent, according to data released by Swiss authorities on Thursday.
The annualised inflation rate compared with 1.5 percent recorded the previous month and 2.0 percent in December 2007, the Federal Statistics Office said in a statement.
Average inflation for 2008 reached 2.4 percent after peaking earlier in the year under the momentum of Switzerland's then booming economy.
The slowdown in inflation last month was largely fuelled by the fall in oil prices, the statistics office said.
The latest data also revealed a significant fall in the prices of imports (minus 2.1 percent) compared to a moderate increase in locally-produced goods (0.1 percent).
Meanwhile, 118,762 people were registered as unemployed last month, 11,110 more than in November, leaving an annual December jobless rate of 3.0 percent after 2.7 percent the previous month, the Swiss economics ministry's secretariat (SECO) said in a statement.
That brought the annual average for 2008 to 2.6 percent, compared to 2.8 percent a year earlier, largely due to a "strong" slowdown in joblessness during the first half of the year when unemployment reached its lowest level since June 2002.
But there was a marked surge in unemployment from October, it added.
[AFP / Expatica]