Three parallel and certainly not independent changes have occurred in central bank practices over the past fifteen years. The first is the spread of central bank independence, which is tied to the notion that even when the government plays a role in setting the goals of monetary policy, central banks should be free from political interference as they pursue those goals. A second trend is the adoption of inflation targeting. Beginning with New Zealand in December 1989, and followed by Chile in January 1991, over twenty countries have adopted some version of inflation targeting. Finally, the third trend among both inflation-targeting and non-targeting central banks is the adoption of greater transparency in the conduct of monetary policy. In fact, transparency is increasingly viewed as a standard and important component of best practices in central banking.
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