(Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank Governing Council member Robert Holzmann said he doesn’t see reductions in interest rates coming before the US — suggesting he reckons any move by policymakers in Frankfurt may still be some way off.

“If the Fed changes its policy hiking, then I assume it will have the same conditions like in Europe, because these currency areas are interrelated so this would then also mean that we have to rethink,” the hawkish Austrian official told Bloomberg TV. 

“But typically the Fed always in the last few years has always gone first by about half a year so I would assume, ceteris paribus, as things are, that we would also follow with delay,” he said Friday in Ghent, Belgium. “I don’t see circumstances which bring us to cut before.”

The remarks come less than two weeks before the ECB sets policy — aided by a fresh set of quarterly projections that will probably show a steeper slowdown in inflation. Officials agree that price gains are retreating. But while some propose rate cuts as early as March, others want more assurance that inflation is returning to the 2% goal.

Traders currently see the ECB delivering the first rate cut in June, with a one-in-four chance of a move coming as soon as April. They ascribe about a 70% probability of a first Federal Reserve cut in June, though July is seen as the likelier outcome.

In Europe, the ECB’s more cautious officials are focused firmly on wages, whose growth cooled at the end of 2023. But the first-quarter numbers have emerged as a key data point for possible policy loosening, with that report not due until May. 

Services prices, more sensitive to salary increases than those in manufacturing, are still rising rapidly. That’s feeding concern that inflation may take longer to retreat — or worse, accelerate again.

Holzmann, who’s previously said rate cuts aren’t certain this year, highlighted inflation risks stemming from wages, as well as the ongoing shipping tensions in the Red Sea.

The situation there “still may explode,” he said, warning that market wagers for 90 basis points of easing this year “may be much too high.” 

“We don’t have a peace plan, we don’t have a solution,” Holzmann said. “As a result, the conflict may simmer on and may explode at one moment. And if it does — let’s assume we have one tanker stranded in the Gulf of Hormuz, the oil prices would shoot up tremendously. The chances are slim but the reality is there.”

Urging patience once again, he suggested it’s safer not to rush rate cuts, and that once they start, a quicker pace could make up for lost ground.  

“I would be willing to have a larger cut once followed by others if the conditions are there,” he said.

--With assistance from Anna Edwards, Guy Johnson and Alice Gledhill.

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