There was some good news for the euro area on Tuesday. The European Commission's economic sentiment indicator rose by 1.3 points to 87.0 in December, the second straight month of gains.
November data, however, had been weak. The unemployment rate in the euro area rose to a record high of 11.8 percent in November from 11.7 percent in October while retail sales rose just 0.1 percent in November.
Germany, the euro area's largest economy, also reported weak data for November on Tuesday. Factory orders fell 1.8 percent while exports plunged 3.4 percent, the steepest decline in more than a year.