Germany's influential IFO index of business sentiment dipped in December after hitting a record high in the previous month.
The headline IFO index slipped to 117.2 from an upwardly revised 117.6 in November - a record high for the measure. Analysts had expected the headline IFO for December to be 117.5.
"It's a trivial dip," said Claus Vistesen at Pantheon Macroeconomics. "The improvement over the fourth quarter as a whole was significant."
While the momentum in the headline index appeared, for the time being, to be on pause, the assessment of current economic and business conditions remained upbeat.
The current assessment index rose to 125.4 from 124.5 in the previous month and beat expectations of a rise to 124.7.
Future expectations lag
There were signs, however, that the data series could be looking at a period of retrenchment as German business output, naturally, has to take a break from its current push higher.
Forecasts of future business conditions, measured in the IFO expectations index, also dipped from the previous month's levels, falling to 109.5 in December from 111 in November and missing market forecasts of 110.7.
"The headline was pegged back by a dip in the expectations index. The details were mixed, but consistent with firm growth across all key sectors," added Vistesen at Pantheon.
Sentiment still at high levels
Sentiment rose in several key business segments including construction and retail, and while manufacturing dipped, it was only a slight move from an elevated level.
"While the report suggest activity cooled slightly at the end of 2017, the main story remains one of gross domestic product growth well above 2% year on year," added Vistesen.
Carsten Brzeski at ING said: "The Ifo index marks the end of a remarkable year for the German economy."
He added: "Looking ahead, the same fundamentals which have supported growth in 2016 and 2017 should still be in place in 2018.
"The only question is how much additional stimulus low interest rates, a relatively weak euro, strong domestic momentum and the recent upswing of the entire eurozone economy can still provide to the mature cycle of the German economy. In our view, still a lot."
On currency markets, the euro was up 0.14% at $1.1799 against the dollar. Sterling fell 0.21% against the single currency to €1.1335.
On stock markets Frankfurt's Xetra Dax index was up 0.05% at 13,320.