It’s a whopper of a day for European economic data.
First, we got some miserable but widely expected news from France — unemployment has reached its highest level in nearly two decades, and it’s now above the European average.
Secondly, service sector purchasing managers’ index (PMI) business surveys were slightly worse than expected in November.
The main event is the European Central Bank’s policy decision at 12:45 p.m. GMT (7:45 a.m. ET), followed by the press conference 45 minutes later.
But before then, we’ve got eurozone retail sales — which were worse than expected. Sales declined by 0.1% from September, the second unexpected dip in a row.
Analysts were expecting an increase of 0.2% month-on-month, and for sales to be up by 2.7% year-on-year. The year-on-year figure actually came in at 2.5%.