Per Jansson: Time to scrap the inflation target?

Speech by Mr Per Jansson, Deputy Governor of the Sveriges Riksbank, at Swedbank, Stockholm, 7 December 2016.

To avoid keeping you on tenterhooks, I shall begin by answering the question in the title of my speech. No, it is not time to scrap the inflation target, in case any of you thought I wanted to. The question is of course rhetorical. The reason I ask the question is that I think it has been the focal point of the recent debate in Sweden, although it is not usually expressed so directly. Following the financial crisis the foundations of monetary policy certainly have been discussed and questioned around the world. But my feeling is that the debate has been driven further in Sweden than in most other countries.

Monetary policy in Sweden has often attracted interest from other countries. One reason is that we have often been among the first to implement changes in the monetary policy framework and thus become an interesting object of study. As is well-known, Sweden was one of the very first countries to introduce inflation targeting in the early 1990s, and we have in many respects remained at the front edge since then. For instance, the Riksbank is one of few central banks to publish its own forecast for the policy rate and possibly the only central bank where the minutes state which Board member has said what during the monetary policy meetings.