Makoto Sakurai says the Bank of Japan "is completely ready” to end negative rates in April 2024. Sakurai is a former Bank of Japan policy board member.

  • “The BOJ is completely ready,”
  • “They are just waiting for one last push from one or two economic data.”
  • April is the most likely timing for a rate hike after authorities peruse initial results of spring wage talks due in March
  • “The BOJ will only go slowly. It’s completely different from” the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank
  • “What Japan’s economy needs is the continuation of an appropriate level of monetary easing.”
  • Sakurai expects the BOJ’s terminal rate will likely be around 0.5% for its short-term rate, and the bank will probably take three or four years to get there, meaning just one or two hikes in the first 12 months.

He was speaking in an interview on Wednesday. Bloomberg (gated) with the info.

Sakurai boj

The question is, of course, will the wages data support a shift in policy like this from the Bank? Yesterday we got very disappointing wages numbers from Japan:

But, maybe the Spring wage talks will bring a result?