Euro zone producer prices rose more than expected in July, data showed today, mainly because of a jump in the prices of energy and intermediate goods.

The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said prices at factory gates in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose 2.3% month-on-month for a 12.1% year-on-year surge.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 1.1% monthly and an 11% annual rise.

Higher producer prices are often passed on to consumers and are therefore an early indication of consumer inflation trends.

The European Central Bank wants to keep inflation at 2%, but the first estimate for consumer inflation in August was far above expectations at a 10-year high of 3%.

Eurostat said energy prices in July rose 5.7% month-on-month for a 28.9% year-on-year surge while the cost of intermediate goods rose 1.9% on the month and 12.6% from a year earlier.