The Swiss National Bank (SNB) raised its policy interest rate for the first time in 15 years in a surprise move on Thursday and said it was ready to hike further, joining other central banks in tightening monetary policy to fight resurgent inflation.
The central bank increased its policy rate to -0.25 percent from the -0.75 percent level it has deployed since 2015, sending the safe-haven franc sharply higher. Nearly all the economists polled by Reuters had expected the SNB to keep rates steady.
It was the first increase by the SNB since September 2007, and followed a 0.75 percent rate hike by the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday.
The SNB also raised its inflation forecasts for 2022 to 2.8 percent from the 2.1 percent it gave in March. It also expects inflation of 1.9 percent and 1.6 percent in 2023 and 2024, up from its previous view for prices rising by 0.9 percent in both years.