Euro zone economic confidence increased in January to the highest level since July 2011, a key European Commission indicator has shown.

Confidence in the 18-nation area stood at 100.9 points compared to 100.4 in December, the EU executive said.

The EU's ESI indicator showed confidence notably on the rise in major economies Germany (0.7 points), where confidence was at its highest since August 2011, and in France (1.1 points), the highest since April 2012.

Confidence remained stable overall in Italy and Spain, but fell a point in the Netherlands. 

Bailed-out strugglers Cyprus and Portugal showed improvement, marking their highest levels since July 2011 and August 2008, respectively.

The services sector did particularly well in January, gaining 1.9 confidence points.

Consumer confidence rose thanks to hopes of economic growth and subsequent job creation.