Eurozone consumer confidence picks up to hit 23-month high in July

Eurozone consumer confidence has improved slightly in July, rising from -18.8 to -17.4, a 23-month high.

Analysts had forecast an improvement to -18.3, but this beat remains markedly lower than a long-term 1990-2013 average of -13.2.

Howard Archer, chief UK & European economist, IHS Global Insight:

It is notable that in the European Commission’s full June survey, the sub-indices relating to consumers’ willingness to make purchases over the next 12 months and at present both weakened despite the appreciable jump in consumer confidence that month. Furthermore, both indices were markedly below their long-term averages.

The situation varies between countries, and German consumers are in a generally decent position to spend with employment at a reunification high and real incomes rising. Even so, German consumers have been generally reluctant overall to significantly step up their spending on a sustained basis in a still uncertain environment.