On the Friday before the fixed announcement date, the Governing Council begins its own deliberations in earnest. The Council operates on a consensus basis. This means that as differing views and interpretations are presented, the process of debate and discussion moves towards a shared view that all Governing Council members can support.
The Council begins by developing a common view on the most likely future path for the economy and the underlying trend in inflation. They then reach agreement on the main risks around this outlook and the overall balance of risks. Finally, they begin their deliberations on the appropriate path for the key policy rate and the related communications activities.
The Council reconvenes the following Tuesday, and by the end of the day reaches a consensus decision on the setting of the rate. With support from a senior communications staff member, they prepare the press release that outlines the reasons behind the decision. Early Wednesday morning, the decision is confirmed. At 10:00, the key policy rate is announced. A media lockup at the Bank before 10:00 allows reporters to prepare their stories in advance for prompt release when the rate is announced.
Four times a year, the same day as the fixed announcement date, the Bank releases the Monetary Policy Report. This publication provides details on the Governing Council's outlook for economic activity and inflation, the key risks around this outlook, and the reasons for the recent rate decision. The release of the Report is accompanied by background briefings of the media by the deputy governors and a press conference by the Governor and Senior Deputy Governor.
The Report is also followed by testimony before parliamentary committees and by presentations by deputy governors and other senior staff across the country and in international financial centres.