European Central Bank to abolish monthly decisions, moving to six week schedule

Peter Spence
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European Central Bank president Mario Draghi (Source: Getty)

The European Central Bank (ECB) was widely expected to do nothing new today. But forecasters got that call very wrong.

From January 2015 the ECB is abolishing its changing up its schedule in a big way. Instead of monthly monetary policy meetings, it's going to be looking at changing policy every six weeks.

At the same time, the ECB has announced a commitment "to publish regular accounts" of those monetary policy meetings from the start of next year.

Up until now, the ECB has committed to release just a summary of meetings 30 years after they take place. The first were not due until 2028. The US Federal Reserve publishes full transcripts with a five year delay; the Bank of Japan after a period of 10 years. The Bank of England is currently reviewing publishing its own transcripts - currently they are deleted once summary minutes are finalised.

Nothing huge was expected this month, with Societe Generale's Kit Juckes suggesting that today's press conference would be a low-key affair. As far as policy goes, he seems to have been right, with only a few details about the ECB's recently annouced targeted long-term refinancing operations being revealed.

Earlier today the European Central Bank announced that it would be holding policy, after delivering a weighty package of stimulus measures last month. Some economy watchers have been getting nervous about the disinflationary environment in the single currency area. Annual inflation still remains well below the ECB's target: to achieve inflation just below two per cent.

Last month ECB president Mario Draghi unveiled a package of five measures: two interest rate cuts and three measures aimed to boost liquidity in the euro area.

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