(Bloomberg) -- There’s broad agreement among members of the European Central Bank Governing Council that policy rates should exit sub-zero terrain “relatively quickly,” according to Bank of Finland Governor Olli Rehn.

That’s to prevent inflation expectations from becoming de-anchored, Rehn said in a speech in Helsinki on Wednesday. 

“It is my view that it seems necessary that in our policy rates we move relatively quickly out of negative territory and continue our gradual process of monetary policy normalization,” he said. “I am not alone, as this is also the indication given by many of my colleagues in the ECB Board and Governing Council.”

Faced with record inflation rates, ECB officials are converging on a July rate hike -- the first such move in more than a decade. Markets are now betting that the deposit rate, currently at -0.5%, will be above zero before the end of the year.

Euro-area inflation plateaued at a record high of 7.4% in April, according to revised data published Wednesday. The initial reading had been 0.1 percentage points stronger. Core inflation -- that strips out volatile elements -- was at 3.5%. The ECB’s inflation target is 2%. 

Allowing inflation expectations to get out of control would be “very damaging to price stability,” he said. “This is now the single most critical factor in determining the course of monetary policy.”

(Updates with revised euro-area inflation reading in fifth paragraph)

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