Česká národní banka


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Media quarantine

Bank Board members generally refrain from commenting on monetary policy issues for one week before and one week after the CNB Board’s monetary policy meetings (and at least until the minutes of the Bank Board meeting are published).

“Media quarantine” (or “media blackout”) is an institutional communication rule that has become a standard instrument for modern central banks. In the Czech Republic, it consists in members of the Bank Board and other CNB representatives refraining from commenting on monetary policy issues, the economic outlook and other topics that might be relevant to decisions on policy rates for one week before and one week after monetary policy meetings (held eight times a year).

The central bank takes such action in order to prevent speculation about current monetary policy decision-making and to ensure that there is a level playing field – particularly for the financial markets – for receiving and processing this sensitive information. The media quarantine period always starts one week before the monetary policy meeting (usually at 3.00 p.m. on a Thursday) with the publication of the planned attendance of Bank Board members at that meeting. Monetary policy meetings may exceptionally be held on a Wednesday (due, for example, to the attendance of the CNB Governor at the ECB General Council meeting). In such cases, the media quarantine period is one day longer and starts on a Wednesday. The media quarantine period ends at 9.00 a.m. on the following Friday with the publication of the Minutes of the Bank Board Meeting. This document, approved by the Bank Board, is a single, consensual output that summarises the latest monetary policy decision and the preceding discussion and is available to all media and market participants at a single fixed time. It is therefore inappropriate for Bank Board members and other CNB representatives to appear in the media before the minutes are published.

Exceptions from the media quarantine rule may be made if the Bank Board judges that the benefits of doing so outweigh the benefits of media quarantine.

Media quarantine periods in 2018

Date
of the monetary
policy meetings
Media quarantine
Start End
1 Feb 2018 25 Jan 2018 9 Feb 2018
29 Mar 2018 22 Mar 2018 6 Apr 2018
3 May 2018 26 Apr 2018 11 May 2018
27 Jun 2018 20 Jun 2018 13 Jul 2018
2 Aug 2018 26 Jul 2018 10 Aug 2018
26 Sep 2018 19 Sep 2018 5 Oct 2018
1 Nov 2018 25 Oct 2018 9 Nov 2018
20 Dec 2018 13 Dec 2018 4 Jan 2019