Analysts had expected exports to fall 0.7 per cent in October
Germany's exports rose unexpectedly in October, a morale boost for Europe's largest economy, which has been teetering on the brink of recession over recent quarters.
The 1.2 per cent rise in exports raises hopes that the economy can avoid contracting in the final quarter, despite producing a string of negative economic indicators in recent weeks, including a fall in industrial output last week.
The surprise increase was mainly driven by strong demand from non-European countries: sales to European Union countries were up 0.1 per cent compared with a year ago but the value of German goods sold to non-European countries rose by 4.6 per cent .
Analysts had expected exports to fall 0.7 per cent in October.
"After last week's disappointing industrial data, this morning's trade data brought some welcome relief for the economy," said ING's Carsten Brzeski, who warned against excessive optimism.
"Looking ahead, however, the ongoing drought in order books is a strong argument against any optimism," he added.
At 20.6 billion euros, the seasonally adjusted trade surplus was wider than the 19 billion euros analysts had expected.