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The euro sculpture seen in front of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt Image Credit: AP

London: The European Central Bank (ECB) will start raising rates gradually this summer, ECB member and Bank of France head Francois Villeroy de Galhau said on Wednesday.

Several ECB policymakers have argued for a rate hike in July to counter rising inflation, which soared to a record high of 7.5 per cent in the 19-nation euro currency zone last month.

"I think that from this summer onwards, the ECB will gradually raise its interest rates," Villeroy de Galhau told France Inter radio.

He said he expected inflation to remain "high" for the rest of 2022 but added that inflation should get back down to around the 2 per cent level by 2024.

Germany's Bundesbank chief, Joachim Nagel, said earlier this week that the ECB should raise interest rates in July to stop high inflation becoming entrenched, joining an already long line of policymakers calling for quick rate moves.

Madis Müller, Estonia's central bank governor, said the ECB could outline its rate expectations for the coming months at its June 9 meeting.