December 17, 2019 / 10:17 AM / a month ago

Euro zone trade surplus jumps more than expected in October

European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 12, 2019. REUTERS/Yves Herman

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone’s seasonally unadjusted trade surplus rose more than expected in October compared with a year earlier thanks to a sharp fall in energy imports, data showed on Tuesday.

The European Union’s statistics office Eurostat said the trade surplus of the 19 countries sharing the euro rose to 28.0 billion euros ($30.9 billion) in October from 13.2 billion a year earlier after exports jumped 4.1% and imports fell 3.2%.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a trade surplus of 17 billion euros in October.

The euro zone produces three quarters of the European Union’s gross domestic product, and energy imports to the whole EU fell 7.7% in January-October, cutting the energy trade gap to 228.8 billion euros from 246.7 billion a year earlier.

Adjusted for seasonal swings, the euro zone trade surplus in October was 24.5 billion euros, up from 18.7 billion in September, with exports up by 2.1% and imports down 0.9% on the month.

Reporting by Jan Strupczewski; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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