BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The euro zone's unadjusted trade surplus jumped year-on-year in October, data showed on Wednesday, as exports held up better than imports amid the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The European Union's statistics office Eurostat said the goods trade surplus of the 19 countries sharing the euro with the rest of the world was 30.0 billion euros ($36.6 billion) in October, up from 27.2 billion a year earlier.
Euro zone imports fell 11.7% in October compared to a year earlier while exports dropped by only 9.0%.
Adjusted for seasonal swings the trade surplus in October was 25.9 billion euros, up from 23.7 billion in September as seasonally adjusted goods exports rose by 2.1% month-on-month and imports by 1.0%.
Eurostat said that, in the last six months, exports recovered more quickly than imports so that the trade balance returned to pre-crisis levels. However, compared to February, the month before COVID-19 restrictions were imposed, exports and imports were down respectively 6.2% and 7.4%.
The European Union's trade deficit with China grew in the January-October period to 151.1 billion euros from 140.9 billion in the same period of 2019, but the deficit in trade with Russia, Europe's main suppliers of oil and gas, fell sharply to 13.0 billion euros from 48.9 billion.
The EU's trade surplus in the first 10 months of the year with the United States declined to 121.3 billion euros from 129.0 billion and with Britain to 87.9 billion euros from 109.7 billion.
For Eurostat release, click on:
($1 = 0.8199 euros)
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, editing by Marine Strauss)