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Economy stagnating; inflation volatility ahead

The recent run of better-than-expected activity data in the euro-zone only look good compared to previously dire expectations. The big picture is that the euro-zone’s growth prospects look bleak. Next week, the main event will be Thursday’s ECB meeting, where a 50bp hike looks like a done deal. We will also get the preliminary flash estimate of euro-zone GDP in Q4, which we think will show that the economy ground to a halt, and January’s inflation data, which will probably show a small rise in the headline rate.

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