A surge in exports boosted the euro zone trade surplus in September to more than double the previous month's value, data showed on Monday, pointing to a positive contribution from trade to euro zone's economic growth in the third quarter.
The European Union's statistics office said that the unadjusted external trade surplus of the 18 countries sharing the euro rose to 18.5 billion euros in September from 10.8 billion a year earlier and a revised 8.6 billion in August.
The better result was mainly thanks to a 9 percent year-on-year jump in exports against only a 4 percent increase in imports.
Adjusted for seasonal swings, the surplus was 17.7 billion, Eurostat said, up from 15.4 in August and 12.8 billion in July.
Month-on-month, seasonally adjusted exports rose 4.2 percent while imports rose 3.0 percent, Eurostat said.
The EU's exports to Russia, which is under EU sanctions over its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, fell 12 percent year-on-year in the first eight months of the year while imports from Russia fell 8 percent.
Russia is Europe's main supplier of gas and oil.
Eurostat said that the value of energy imports to the European union in general in the first eight months of the year fell 9 percent compared with the same period of 2013 to a total of €230.6bn.