The surveys are likely to show the currency bloc ended the year on a reasonably robust note with Germany leading the way as always, Italy and Spain showing signs of life and France looking worryingly weak.
Ireland’s reading is already out and has posted its fastest services growth in seven years. Much more importantly for the world, growth in China’s services industries slowed in December, confirming that the world’s second-largest economy lost steam at the end of last year.
German inflation on the EU-compatible HICP measure is forecast to have fallen to 1.4 percent year-on-year in December, from 1.6 in November, not the sort of move the ECB will like to see. We’ve already seen Italian and Spanish inflation come in at just 0.6 and 0.3 percent respectively.
A shock fall in euro zone inflation to 0.7 percent prompted an interest rate cut to 0.25 percent in November (not much scope to lower from there) followed by a chorus of denials that deflation was a threat.