Skip to main content

Swiss monetary policy 2000–2009


In January 2000 the Swiss National Bank adopted a new monetary policy framework incorporating a price stability objective defined as (any rate of) CPI inflation below 2 percent. We contrast this framework with inflation targeting strategies and review the SNB’s policy decisions since its introduction. Empirical results indicate that in setting policy the SNB reacts in much the same way as inflation targeting central banks. The recent sharp reduction in the policy rate is consistent with the estimated reaction function until the second quarter of 2009 when the zero bound became binding, while the deterioration of economic conditions still called for further monetary easing. This may explain the unconventional monetary policy measures adopted since then.


  • Baltensperger, Ernst, Philipp Hildebrand, and Thomas Jordan (2007), “The Swiss National Bank’s Monetary Policy Concept— an Example of a ‘Principles-Based’ Policy Framework”, Swiss National Bank Economic Studies, 3, Zurich: Swiss National Bank.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bernanke, Ben, Thomas Laubach, Fredric Mishkin, and Adam Posen (1999), Inflation Targeting: Lessons from the International Experience, NJ: Princeton University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Camen, Ulrich, Hans Genberg and Michael Salemi (1990). “Optimal Monetary Policy and the Revealed Preference Function of the Swiss National Bank”, in: P. Artus and Y. Barroux (eds), Monetary Policy, A Theoretical and Econometric Approach, Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 3–14.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gerlach, Stefan (2007), “Interest Rate Setting by the ECB, 1999–2006: Words and Deeds”, International Journal of Central Banking, 3, pp. 1–45.

    Google Scholar 

  • Judd, John P., and Glenn D. Rudebusch (1998), “Taylor’s Rule and the Fed: 1970–1997”, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Economic Review, 3, pp. 3–16.

    Google Scholar 

  • Meyer, Hans (2000), «La politique monétaire à l’aube de la nouvelle année», Banque National Suisse Bulletin trimestriel, 1/2000, pp. 38–46.

    Google Scholar 

  • Miao, Yanliang (2009), “In Search of Successful Inflation Targeting: Evidence from an Inflation Targeting Index”, IMF Working Paper WP/09/148, Washington, D.C, International Monetary Fund, July.

  • Mishkin, Fredric (2000), “Inflation Targeting in Emerging-Market Countries”, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 90(2), pp. 105–109.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Orphanides, Athanasios and Volker Wieland (2000), “Inflation Zone Targeting”, European Economic Review, 44, 7, pp. 1351–1387.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Roth, Jean-Pierre (2007), «Stratégie de politique monétaire, experiences récentes en Suisse», Séminaire de théorie et politique monétaires, Université de Fribourg, 28 novembre.

  • Svensson, Lars E. O. (1997), “Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets”, European Economic Review, 41, pp. 1111–1146.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Swiss National Bank, Quarterly Review, various issues.

  • Taylor, John (1993), “Discretion versus Policy Rules in Practice”, Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, 39, pp. 195–214.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hans Genberg.

Additional information

This paper was prepared for the conference on The SNB’s New Monetary Policy Framework Ten Years On, 29–30 October, 2009. We are grateful to our discussants, Adam Posen and Marcel Savioz, and to Petra Gerlach and to the conference participants for helpful comments, and to Maja Ganarin, Danielt Kalt and Jan-Egbert Sturm for data. The views expressed are the authors’ and not necessarily those of their employers.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Genberg, H., Gerlach, S. Swiss monetary policy 2000–2009. Swiss J Economics Statistics 146, 131–165 (2010).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: