Q1 data hasn't been bright and rosy as European officials have been hinting over the last few months

When the Citi economic surprise index updates with today's data points, that dip is going to be much lower than it is now.

The slew of PMI and final PMI readings continue to soften and the retail sales data earlier also didn't help. The only decent data point was the PPI report.

Composite PMI readings for Spain and Italy came in below expectations and below prior readings, while Germany and Eurozone readings were also lower than the preliminary figures. Only France figures were better, but they were still below prior readings.

But really, the trend has been persisting for a while now.

Growth is still relatively decent, and the PMI readings are still holding well above their average. But how long can the ECB and European officials ignore the trend? That will be the real question.

I reckon it'll be for as long as they can get away with it, and knowing central bankers and government officials that surely will be the case. Their best hope is that although the economic data points are coming in softer, they're not at a level yet that will warrant a downside change in guidance/confidence. And they will be hoping that it will eventually bottom out and growth will hold steady from there.

But yeah, that's a lot of hoping to do. And if the trend continues, it'll keep the ECB on their toes as they move closer towards communicating exit from easing monetary policy in the coming months.