1 At its meeting on 20 October 2003, the Monetary Council left the central bank base rate unchanged at 9.50%.

2 While considering the latest economic and financial developments, the Council paid special attention to the depreciation of the forint during the previous week. Currently, the Council sees no signs of risks to inflation moderating in 2004. Therefore, the Council continues to maintain its view that the exchange rate should stay in the upper range of the EUR/HUF 250 to 260 band.

3 The Magyar Nemzeti Bank and the Government have agreed on the target rate of inflation for end-2005. This jointly set inflation target is consistent with the Government's strategy towards the adoption of the euro in 2008, also supported by the Bank. The end-2005 inflation target also contains a projection for the rate which will have to be met in order for the Government's programme to succeed in 2006.

The President of the MNB and the Minister of Finance will inform the general public about the quantification of the 2005 inflation target at a joint press conference to be held at 4 p.m. and in a separate press notice.

4 The Monetary Council discussed the conceptual framework of the Bank's Quarterly Report on Inflation, to be published on 17 November.