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Swiss central bank to continue gradual tightening

Written by: Staff
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ZURICH, Mar 16 (Reuters) The Swiss National Bank will continue its gradual tightening campaign if the economy expands as expected, it said on Thursday after it raised interest rates by a quarter point.

''Provided that the economy continues to perform as expected, the Swiss National Bank will further pursue the gradual adjustment of its monetary policy,'' it said in a statement.

The SNB expects the Swiss economy to expand by 'a little more than 2 per cent' this year, unchanged from its previous forecast.

The central bank forecast annual inflation to average 1 per cent this year from a previous forecast of 0.8 per cent.

It forecast inflation in 2007 at 1.1 per cent from a previous 1.2 per cent and 2.0 per cent in 2008.

REUTERS SD

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