Germany's exports and imports declined unexpected in October amid the weaker trade activity within Europe, preliminary figures from the statistical office Destatis showed Monday. Exports decreased for a second month in a row, down a calendar and seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent month-on-month, while economists were looking for a 1.1 percent gain. In September, shipments fell 2.5 percent. Imports shrunk for a fifth straight month. They fell 1.2 percent from the previous month after a 1.9 percent decline in September. Economists had forecast 0.8 percent growth.

Compared to the previous month, exports to the EU countries fell 2.7 percent and imports from these countries slid 2.8 percent.

Shipments to countries outside the EU grew 2.9 percent and imports from those countries rose 0.8 percent.

Both exports and imports decreased on a year-on-year basis, down 8.1 percent and 16.3 percent, respectively. The foreign trade surplus for October was EUR 17.8 billion, which was slightly bigger than the EUR 17.1 billion economists had forecast. In September, the surplus was EUR 16.7 billion and it was EUR 7.8 billion a year ago.

The United States attracted most of the German exports in October and shipments to the country grew 5.7 percent. Exports to China rose 1.5 percent and those to the UK climbed 5.6 percent. China was the country of origin for most of the German imports. However, imports from the country decreased 2.4 percent. Imports from the U.S. rose 2.2 percent, while those from the U.K. slumped 15.1 percent.

Exports to Russia shrunk 5.0 percent and imports from the country rose 6.6 percent.

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