1. The May 2003 issue of the Quarterly Report on Inflation, discussed and approved by the Monetary Council, is available on the Bank's website. The Council's evaluation of economic conditions, related to the Report, is being issued in a separate press release.

2. At its meeting on 12 May, the Council considered the latest economic and financial developments and left the central bank base rate unchanged at 6.50%.

3. The Council discussed the standpoint of the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund. The members shared the Board's view that a departure from stringent wages policy or the envisaged budget deficit would obviously make it more difficult to meet the inflation target without sacrifices in the area of external competitiveness.