It is premature to discuss European Central Bank rate cuts as there are still some risks to the inflation outlook, particularly for underlying prices, ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos said in a newspaper interview.

Energy price increase, the weakening of the euro and rising unit labour costs are all potential threats for consumer price inflation, which is already down to 2.9% but will need until 2025 to fall back to 2%, Luis de Guindos was quoted by Slovenia's Finance on Thursday as saying.

"It is essential to focus on core inflation, for which there are several risks," de Guindos said. "Any discussion about lowering interest rates is clearly premature." (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Alison Williams)