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Monetary Policy in the Media


  • We would like to thank the ECB's Press and Information Division in the Directorate Communications for providing us with the data on the favorableness of press reports. These data have been used for regular internal ECB reporting on interest rate decisions; the underlying concept for media monitoring and analysis has been developed by Jukka Ahonen. We are also grateful to Ann-Kristin Koch and Joanna Slawatyniec for excellent research assistance, and to two anonymous referees, Heli-Kirsti Airisniemi, Jukka Ahonen, Rainer Böhme, Frank Smets, Ken West, and seminar participants at the ECB, ETH Zurich, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and University Milan-Bicocca for comments and discussions. Berger thanks the ECB's Research Department for its hospitality. This paper presents the authors’ personal opinions and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Central Bank.


Just like private companies depend crucially on their ability to reach customers, policymakers must communicate with private agents to be successful—and much of this communication is channeled through the media. This is especially true for central banks, which need to build credibility among the general public. This paper analyses how favorably the print media report about the European Central Bank's (ECB) monetary policy decisions. Favorableness is, inter alia, influenced by the amount of information communicated by the ECB. There are, however, also indications of a critical monitoring role of the media, which reports more negatively when inflation exceeds the inflation target.