How does the Bank Board make decisions?

The Bank Board meetings are held regularly eight times a year, at the beginning of February, May, August and November and at the end of March, June, September and December. This meeting begins at 9 a.m. with a discussion of the Situation Report, which is always presented to the Bank Board by the Monetary and Statistics Department several days in advance. The board is also provided with the Monetary Policy Recommendation of the Monetary and Statistics Department and an opinion on the Situation Report drawn up by one of its advisers. The Monetary Policy Recommendation contains arguments for the setting of higher/lower interest rates compared to the message of the baseline scenario of the current forecast and a recommendation by the Monetary and Statistics Department regarding the optimum monetary policy action and the communication thereof.

The discussion of the Situation Report at the Bank Board meeting opens with presentations by the Monetary and Statistics Department summing up the main ideas and the message of the forecast, the Situation Report and the Monetary Policy Recommendation. The presentations end with the formulation of the Monetary and Statistics Department’s own recommendation for the Bank Board in the area of the immediate interest rate settings and communication. Once the presentations are over, the members of the Bank Board are free to ask questions. In the final phase of the meeting, the Board goes into closed session to discuss the risks and uncertainties of the current forecast and the overall monetary policy context and to subsequently vote on the monetary policy action. This vote is not necessarily always unanimous and the final decision can differ from the message of the current forecast and from the Monetary and Statistics Department’s monetary policy recommendation.

The measures adopted are immediately disclosed in a press release and explained and expanded upon at an afternoon press conference, at which the ratio of the votes cast is also disclosed. A more detailed account of the discussion leading up to the Bank Board’s decision is published eight days later in the minutes of the meeting. The votes cast by the board members on interest rate changes are given also by name in the minutes. When the CNB’s new quarterly forecast is published (in February, May, August and November), a forecast for key economic variables (headline inflation, monetary-policy relevant inflation, gross domestic product and the forecast-consistent interest rate path) is also disclosed at the press conference held on the day the decision is made and on the CNB website. The full minutes of the meeting and the situation report are published six years later (in Czech language only).