European Central Bank governing council member Gabriel Makhlouf has said the bank could increase interest rates above 3.5% and likely will not cut them again this year as it moves forcefully to bring inflation back to target, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

"I'm open to acting forcefully to get inflation down to our target," the WSJ quoted Makhlouf as saying.

Makhlouf dismissed suggestions that the ECB will start cutting rates later this year as inflation declines. "I think that really is going too far... We'll reach a point where we're going to, then plateau," he told the newspaper.

"I see the ECB as putting up interest rates after the March meeting...Even though inflation is coming down it's still way above our target," Makhlouf added.

Makhlouf has previously said he would not be surprised if policymakers need to keep increasing interest rates beyond the end of March.

(Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Jon Boyle)