Bank translation error muddies communication

On Thursday Banco de Mexico – Mexico’s Central Bank – found a translation error in the minutes of its interest rate-setting meeting. Since 2017 the bank has provided an English translation alongside its Spanish minutes to improve its communication. Rather than improving communication the mistranslation could have had the unfortunate consequence of muddying communication with analysts around the world.
The translation error was found a few hours after the meeting, and a press release corrected it. Before correction the English wording said the bank would take action “in whatever direction is required”, implying it was open to cutting interest rates.
In its press release the bank removed the incorrect phrase and replaced it with a promise to take actions that ensure “the reference rate is kept at a level consistent with the convergence of headline inflation to Banco de Mexico’s target”.
The incorrect translation had implied that interest rates could have moved either up or down, but the Central Bank did not intend to send the signal that cuts were possible. Armed with the correct information analysts now expect policy makers to leave the key rate as it is until November.
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