This analyst says it's a do nothing day. Here's why

The majority of economists think it's pretty unlikely that the European Central Bank (ECB) will alter interest rates today.

In a poll by Reuters, all bar one of 55 economists said they expected no change, and a large proportion expect rates to stay at their current level until at least mid-2015.

The bank cut its main rate to a record low of 0.25 per cent in November.

Here are some reasons it's a do nothing day:

Mixed economic data

This week we've seen fairly weak EU flash CPI numbers for December (the core measure hit a worrying 0.7 per cent), along with poor unemployment numbers, but there's also been some more robust data.

In a note this morning, Goldman Sachs said that some of the fiscal relief the US is currently seeing should reach the Eurozone this year, with the euro area kicking off 2014 on a more stable footing than it's been on for some time.

But president Mario Draghi is likely to exercise caution, particularly given the problematic areas of France and Italy, and after EUR/USD reached year highs after his positive rhetoric at the last meeting.

Draghi doesn't think it's time to act

In a recent interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, he said there is "no need for immediate action".

We don’t have Japanese conditions. There, the expectation of falling prices became entrenched.

In the euro area, market participants are convinced that inflation will rise to close but below two per cent again.

Other tools in the box

Economists are expecting a dovish tone today, but also that Draghi will return to the line that governments must carry on acting on reform programmes, along with referring to the "powerful tools" available to the ECB.

Although it'd come as a surprise if he started talking today about specific tools that could be used, some analysts are anticipating that the bank will introduce some kind of funding programme later in the year.

John J Hardy, Saxo Bank says:

The real key for pushing the Euro significantly lower will be a hint that real quantitative easing (QE) is a possibility.

We are very unlikely to see this at today's meeting, though we could have Draghi double underlining that all options are on the table if necessary — meaning QE by inference.

And despite a more optimistic outlook for the Eurozone economy, for many, the concern is that the bank may struggle to respond to risks (twice now it's failed to ward off a strong euro and disinflation). Goldman comments:

Further falls in Euro area inflation may also reinforce concerns about both the fiscal and real exchange rate adjustments, particularly given worries that the ECB lacks the capacity or will to respond aggressively to that threat.