Writing Clearly: The ECB's Monetary Policy Communication


Address for correspondence: Aleš Bulíř, International Monetary Fund (IMF). 700 19th Street NW, 20431 Washington DC. Tel.: 1 202 623 7145; Fax.: 1 202 589 7145; e-mail: abulir@imf.org


The article presents a novel methodology for measuring the clarity of central bank communication using content analysis, illustrating the methodology with the case of the European Central Bank (ECB). The analysis identifies the ECB's written communication as clear in about 85–95% of instances, which is comparable with, or better than, similar results available for other central banks. We also find that the additional information on risk to inflation and especially projection risk assessment contained in the ECB's Monthly Bulletins helps to improve communication clarity compared to ECB's press releases. In contrast, the bulletin's communication on monetary developments has a negative, albeit small, impact on clarity.