Understanding central bank talk

While in Ghana, I led a workshop on central bank communications with a group of leading local journalists. My goal was to promote understanding of the Bank of Ghana’s communications among the main mediators of its policy messages.

With a group of journalists in Accra, Ghana

With a group of journalists in Accra, Ghana

Understanding the often convoluted central bank speak — and the techniques central banks generally use to express themselves, such as fan charts — does not come naturally. To succeed, a central bank needs to make a pro-active effort to explain why it is speaking in the way it is speaking, and why it is saying what it is saying.

The media are an important tool of institutional communications at central banks and companies alike, and as such need to be regularly sharpened and trained. Only then one could hope the tool will work. The more members of the media understand what is a central bank saying and why, the greater the chances they will transmit its policy messages in a desired, and importantly correct, way to a broad set of audiences.

A few of the slides I showed during my talk to facilitate discussion at the workshop: