The eurozone trade surplus widened in September, official data showed Monday, with a rise in exports offering rare good news for an embattled European economy that is worrying the world.
The export turnaround, which breaks a three-month string of declines, comes just days after it was learned the 18-nation eurozone eked out 0.2 percent growth in the third quarter this year.
The EU's official Eurostat agency said seasonally adjusted exports rose by 4.2 percent compared to a month earlier, to 171.9 billion euros ($215 billion).
Imports also rose, but by a slower 3.0 percent.
Across the whole 28-nation European Union, exports rose by 5.8 percent over the period, while imports rose 3.2 percent.
Overall, the currency bloc posted a 18.5-billion-euro trade surplus in September, up from 8.6 billion euros the month before.
The trade balance measures the difference between imports and exports and its size varies greatly across the eurozone.
As expected, powerhouse Germany posted the EU's biggest trade surplus, 138.8 billion euros for the year to date, followed by the Netherlands at 38.5 billion euros.
Non-eurozone Britain posted the widest trade deficit, at 89.8 billion euros, followed by France, Spain and Greece.
British Prime Minister David Cameron warned on Sunday that "red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy", pointing out that the eurozone was "teetering on the brink of a possible third recession".