A surge in exports boosted the euro zone trade surplus in September to more than double the previous month’s value, pointing to a positive contribution from trade to the 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 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 nine per cent year-on-year jump in exports against only a four per cent 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 per cent while imports rose three per cent, Eurostat said.

The EU’s exports to Russia, which is under EU sanctions over its involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, fell 12 per cent year-on-year in the first eight months of the year while imports from Russia fell eight per cent.

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 nine per cent compared with the same period of 2013 to a total of €230.6 billion.

See at: