(Bloomberg) -- European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde indicated that an interest-rate cut is probable next month with the rapid gain in consumer-price growth now largely contained.

“It is a case that if the data that we receive reinforces the confidence level that we have — that we will deliver 2% inflation in the medium term, which is our objective, our mission, our duty — then there is a strong likelihood” of a move on June 6, she told Ireland’s RTE One in a television interview broadcast on Tuesday. 

“I’m really confident that we have inflation under control,” she said. “The forecast that we have for next year and the year after that is really getting very, very close to target, if not at target. So, I am confident that we’ve gone to a control phase.”

A move when officials next set policy has been widely telegraphed. The deposit rate — which has been at a record high of 4% since last autumn — is expected to be reduced by a quarter point, with investors pricing another step of that size in September and also leaning toward a final 2024 cut in December. 

Governing Council members refuse to commit to a certain rate path — a sentiment shared by Lagarde in the RTE One interview. Many though have indicated that market bets may be similar to their own thinking.

Commenting in a separate interview with Handelsblatt also published Tuesday, Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel urged caution after a likely first reduction.

“We should not cut rates hastily and jeopardize what we have achieved,” he said, adding that uncertainty is “still high.” 

So “even if rates are lowered for the first time in June, that does not mean we will cut rates further” in subsequent meetings, Nagel said. “We are not on auto-pilot.” 

Lagarde also warned of uncertainty, but was more circumspect.

“We have to be data dependent,” she said. “It’s a collective decision that is taken by all members of the Governing Council together, and it’s very difficult to prescribe or forecast a path after the first cut, if there is such a cut.”

The pace of euro-area inflation has slowed drastically, though it stalled at 2.4% in April and isn’t seen retreating to the ECB’s 2% goal until the second half of next year.

Lagarde said that her aim is “2%, 2%, 2% inflation down. Mission accomplished. That’s what I want to do.”

The ECB president also defended her institution’s track record — “we didn’t do a bad job” — though she acknowledged that rate increases in 2022 could potentially have commenced more quickly, citing the option of going “three months earlier.”

“We might have started a little earlier,” she said. “But I’m not sure the outcome would have been that different.”

--With assistance from Constantine Courcoulas and Mark Schroers.

(Updates with additional Lagarde quotes starting in ninth paragraph)

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