Euro zone consumer confidence nears 2-year high in July

BRUSSELS, July 23 Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:12am EDT

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BRUSSELS, July 23 (Reuters) - Consumer morale in the euro zone improved by more than expected in July, rising to its highest level in almost two years, the European Commission said on Tuesday.

Consumer confidence in the 17 countries using the euro jumped to -17.4 points in July from -18.8 points in June, beating market expectations for a rise to -18.30 points. The reading was the best since August 2011, when it stood at -16.8.

In the whole of the European Union, consumer confidence recovered even faster to -14.8 from -17.5 in June.

Improving consumer confidence follows on from better manufacturing data this week and points to a recovery in the second half of this year to pull the euro zone out of recession.

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