Gabriel Makhlouf told WSJ that he could see the ECB's interest rates being higher than 3.5%. The policymaker added that he is open to acting forcefully to get inflation down to the ECB's target.
Also, Makhlouf rejected the views that the ECB might begin cutting its rates later this year as inflation cools. According to him, the discussion of rate cuts is one that is really going too far. "We’ll reach a point where we’re going to and then plateau,” he added.
The official noted that, even though inflation is coming down, it remains way above the ECB's target. So, he sees the ECB as putting up its interest rates after the March meeting.
Makhlouf also said he would be surprised if the ECB returned to a world of negative interest rates. In his opinion, the challenge in the future will be to get inflation down to 2%, not up to 2%.