25 November 2002

1. At its meeting today, the Monetary Council maintained the central bank base rate at 9.00%. After reviewing economic and money market developments, the Council stated that, following the interest rate cut on 18 November, monetary conditions were consistent with meeting the inflation target. Therefore, the Council perceived no need to make any changes to monetary conditions.

2. After discussing its decision release schedule, the Council changed the release times of its statements to 2 p.m. on the day of a meeting, effective from 1 December 2002.

3. The Council reviewed current experience with the publication schedule of the Quarterly Report on Inflation. In order to provide the public with better access to information, the Council decided to bring forward the date of the Report’s release on the Bank’s website to coincide with the release of the Monetary Council’s Statement. Thus, the February issue of the Quarterly Report on Inflation will be released at 2 p.m. on 10 February 2003 rather than at 9 a.m. on 20 February 2003, and the May issue will be released at 2 p.m. on 12 May instead of 9 a.m. on 22 May.

The Chairman of the Monetary Council will hold a press briefing to announce the Monetary Council’s stance at 2 p.m., simultaneously with the electronic release of the Report. At 3 p.m. on the same day, there will be an exchange of technical background information with participation of the Economics Department staff, in accordance with the established practice.