Policy tweaks rather than normalization
Ueda was not as closed to considering policy normalization as Kuroda. He said that it is his responsibility to ensure that normalization is carried out at the right time if the 2% inflation goal is reached. This means if inflation proves sticky, then the review of the yield curve control is now more likely that it ever was under Kuroda.
However, given Ueda’s view that inflationary pressures are currently unsustainable, normalization remains unlikely for now. Ueda still accepted that there are side effects of yield curve control, and remained open to considering policy tweaks.
What tweaks may be considered?
Ueda stopped short of hinting at just what policy tweaks may be considered, but he remained open to considering tweaks like shortening the long-term interest rate target to 5-year or 7-year from 10-year currently, or even widening the band. This was a contrast to his comment ten days back, where he stated that gradually raising the ceiling creates waves of speculation as market participants just position for the next yield target.
While expectations of an abrupt exit may have cooled, market’s hawkish expectations can continue.
Other options to embark on policy normalization if inflation proves more than transitory will be ‘creative’. He hinted at moves such as raising interest rates on financial institutions' reserves parked with the central bank rather than selling bonds.
Communication with the markets
Markets can however expect somewhat improved communication from Ueda, both domestically but also in terms of coordination with foreign central banks which will be key if the YCC policy is abandoned at some point in the next 5 years given its massive global implications. This should reduce speculative positions and bring the safe haven status of yen back in focus.