An easing of the austerity agenda by Italy's coalition government, including the cancellation of a planned VAT hike and removal of a property tax on first homes, may already be contributing to a recovery in household spending.
Eurozone leaders have relaxed their deadlines for budget targets in recent months, alarmed by record levels of unemployment and a regional recession that entered its sixth consecutive quarter at the start of this year.
"We believe that eurozone GDP actually managed to stop contracting in the second quarter of 2013, after a record six quarters of decline, as Germany saw faster growth and the rate of contraction slowed appreciably in Italy and Spain," said Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight.
The good news wasn't confined to the eurozone. A raft of U.K. data pointed to a further acceleration of activity, with strong numbers on car sales, industrial production and house prices.