Eurozone trade surplus rises more than expected in October

The eurozone’s unadjusted trade surplus rose more than expected in October, data showed on Tuesday, thanks to a strong rise in exports and flat imports.

The European Union’s statistics office said the unadjusted trade surplus in October was 24 billion euros (19 billion pounds), up from 16.5 billion a year earlier and 18.1 billion the month before.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected 19.6 billion.

The surplus was a result of a 4 percent unadjusted year-on-year rise in exports and flat imports, Eurostat said.

Adjusted for seasonal swings the October surplus was 19.4 billion euros, after exports eased only 0.3 percent month-on-month while imports declined 1.3 percent in October against September.

Detailed data for October was not yet available, but numbers for the January-September period showed that the main improvement in the trade balance came from the fall in the prices of energy.

The deficit in energy trade after nine months of the year was 214.8 billion euros compared to 239.5 billion a year earlier.