European Central Bank policy makers have until Wednesday to air views in public about their July 21 meeting before a pre-decision blackout kicks in. They’re preparing to start raising rates, and to unveil an accompanying crisis tool to mitigate the fallout on weaker euro members such as Italy.
ECB President Christine Lagarde will attend a meeting of euro-area finance ministers at the start of the week, though few other appearances are scheduled.
Likely to focus their minds is a temporary closure of the Nord Stream gas pipeline from Russia to take effect on Monday. German officials fear the shutdown for 10 days of routine maintenance may become permanent.
Among data due, euro-zone industrial production on Wednesday will probably signal slowing expansion as the second quarter progressed, while the state of the region’s worsening trade deficit — perhaps reflected in the euro’s drop to a two-decade low — will be revealed on Friday.
“There are stagflationary winds blowing — there’s no question about that,” ECB Governing Council member Yannis Stournaras told Bloomberg TV on Saturday, stressing that Europe isn’t seeing stagflation yet. “But for the moment we don’t expect negative growth this year or next year.”
In the UK, economists expect gross domestic product to have barely increased in May after a decline the previous month, in figures due on Wednesday.