December 8, 2017 / 7:06 AM / a year ago

Surprise fall in German exports narrows trade surplus in October

BERLIN, Dec 8 (Reuters) - German exports fell unexpectedly in October and imports jumped, narrowing the trade surplus and adding to evidence that Europe’s biggest economy started the fourth quarter on a weak footing, data showed on Friday.

Seasonally adjusted exports edged down by 0.4 percent on the month while vibrant domestic demand pushed up imports by 1.8 percent, data from the Federal Statistics Office showed.

The exports figure confounded expectations for a 1.0 percent rise while imports beat a forecast for a 1.1 percent increase.

The seasonally adjusted trade surplus narrowed to 19.9 billion euros from a upwardly revised 21.9 billion euros in September. The October reading was lower than the Reuters consensus forecast for 21.8 billion euros.

Germany’s wider current account surplus, which measures the flow of goods, services and investments, fell to 18.1 billion euros after an upwardly revised reading of 25.8 billion euros in September, unadjusted data showed.

The trade figures followed economic data released on Thursday that showed industrial output fell unexpectedly in October - a drop economists linked to public holidays that let workers take long weekends.

The weak figures came after data on Wednesday showed that industrial orders had risen unexpectedly in October. (Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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