Food price inflation will start easing in the second half of this year, French ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Tuesday, saying this is when a decrease in crop prices will bear fruit.
Villeroy told RTL radio the ECB will manage to bring down overall inflation to around 2% by 2025, and "probably" towards the end of 2024.
The European Central Bank will almost certainly add 25 basis points to its deposit rate on May 4 and then take it to 3.50% or higher in June as core inflation remains persistently high, according to economists polled by Reuters.
In an annual report to French President Emmanuel Macron published on Monday, Villeroy said the European Central Bank is justified in keeping monetary policy tight, with no sign that underlying inflation pressures are letting up.
Elsewhere, while the European Central Bank will need to raise interest rates again at its forthcoming meeting next week, the size of the move is still open to debate, its chief economist told French paper Le Monde in an interview published on Tuesday.
"For our next Governing Council meeting on 4 May, the current data are indicating that we should raise rates again... Beyond that, I don’t have a crystal ball; it will depend on the economic data", Philip Lane said in the interview.
Lane added that wage growth, now above 5% and feeding inflation according to some, will slow later this year.