By Rob Cox
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
The last day of the year and all is quiet – but not for long.
Unless the price of oil bounces markedly or Vladimir Putin walks away from Ukraine thereby loosening western sanctions – both unlikely – Russia could be heading for a serious economic fall. Reserves are being burned defending the currency. They are sufficient for now but without hefty tax increases, public spending cuts and/or a higher pension age the outlook for 2016 and beyond is much gloomier.
Two vital gauges of euro zone progress, or lack of it, today.
German inflation for November is forecast to slip to 0.6 percent and will cue up the euro zone figure on Friday, which is predicted to come in at just 0.3 percent. Spanish inflation, due earlier, is forecast to come in at -0.3 percent.
After European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi managed to bring his colleagues into line to sign up to his 1 trillion euros or so target to push into the ailing euro zone economy, today sees a raft of third quarter GDP reports which are likely to show just why more help may be needed.