(Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank may not cut interest rates again for a while as it watches to see how quickly inflation recedes to its 2% target, according to Governing Council member Joachim Nagel.

Policymakers must remain cautious amid still-high uncertainty around the economy and the evolution of price pressures, Nagel — who also heads Germany’s Bundesbank — said in a speech in Leipzig on Monday. He repeated the ECB mantra that future decisions will be taken based on data and on a meeting-by-meeting basis.  

“Metaphorically speaking: I don’t see us on a mountain top from which we will inevitably come down,” Nagel said. “Rather, I see us on a ridge where we still have to find the right point for a further descent.”

The comments add to a series of remarks cautioning against any quick follow-up to last week’s quarter-point reduction in borrowing costs. Nagel’s Irish colleague Gabriel Makhlouf went as far as suggesting that the ECB might not carry on with further loosening policy at all.

Earlier on Monday, Slovakia’s Peter Kazimir said policymakers haven’t yet beaten the “inflation beast” and argued that September’s meeting will be pivotal for officials to decide whether to cut further or not. Latvia’s Martins Kazaks said the ECB must ensure inflation doesn’t come back.

Price pressures have accelerated recently and wage growth picked up at the start of the year, offering a boost to private consumption in the coming months. 

Policymakers’ reticence to commit to further action follows controversy around the ECB’s first rate cut since it lifted the deposit rate to a record 4% last September. 

The reduction was accompanied by higher projections for consumer-price growth this year and next — to 2.5% and 2.2% on average, respectively.

Nagel added that euro-area inflation will gradually slow toward the ECB’s target and reach 2% by the end of 2025 — even though that’s later than previously thought. 

President Christine Lagarde had flagged the possibility of a cut as early as January. Officials then embraced that prospect with such certainty that reneging at the last minute would have risked throwing markets in a tailspin.

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