BERLIN: Germany's Federal Trade Statistics Office reported an unexpected but welcome trade surplus in October, reaching €17.2 billion ($22.73bn; £11.62bn), an all-time national record.

The record figure caught analysts on the hop, with Commerzbank's Matthias Rubisch declaring the numbers "really astounding".

Why the astonishment? "After the strong rise in September, we hadn't expected such a strong number in October," he said. "Given that the global economy and US growth are cooling, it is astonishing to see a level like this."

The surge was driven by exports destined for outside the European Union. These totalled €84.1bn versus imports of €66.8bn

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff