Eurozone official interest rates are almost certain to be slashed again next week by at least half a percentage point after a survey yesterday showed the region facing its worst downturn since the recession of the early 1990s.

Economic confidence in the 15-country region crashed this month to its lowest point since August 1993, the European Commission reported. With inflation also falling rapidly, the European Central Bank has not sought to stop financial markets assuming its main interest rate will be cut next Thursday from 3.25% to 2.75% or below.

Public ECB comments show the bank remains cautious about the pace of cuts, pointing to a half-point reduction next week – the same as in October and this month. But economic news has been consistently gloomier than expected, strengthening the case for a larger cut.

Financial Times