Euro zone industrial new orders rose more than expected month-on-month in July on demand for durable consumer goods, reinforcing expectations that the single currency area will exit recession in the third quarter.
Industrial orders in the 16-country area rose 2.6 percent against June, the European Union's statistics office said on Wednesday. They were 24.3 percent lower than a year earlier.
"This reinforces hopes and expectations that the euro zone will return to growth in the third quarter," said Howard Archer, economist at IHS Global Insight.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 2.0 percent monthly increase and a 25.0 percent year-on-year fall.