ECB to cut rates once inflation outlook settles at target- Villeroy

(Corrects to outlook, not expectations, in headline, paragraph 1 and 4)

PARIS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank will cut interest rates this year once it sees evidence the inflation outlook has settled in line with its 2% target, ECB policymaker Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Tuesday.

Investors are betting that the ECB will carry out multiple rate cuts this year with the first move coming in March or April though some policymakers have indicated it could take longer to be certain inflation is under control.

Villeroy, who is also head of the French central bank, declined to give a timeframe in a News Year’s address to the French financial sector, saying that the ECB’s decisions would be guided by data and would not be rushed.

“We will cut rates this year when the inflation outlook is solidly anchored at 2% (with) effective and durable data,” he said.

Euro zone inflation has been steadily declining, although it rose in December to 2.9% from 2.4% in November, mainly for technical factors like the end of government subsidies and low energy prices falling out of base figures used to calculate inflation rates.

(This story has been corrected to say outlook, not expectations, in the headline and in paragraphs 1 and 4)

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas, Editing by Dominique Vidalon)