The 19 countries that share the euro currency reported a lower than expected trade surplus in August as imports increased at a faster pace than exports.
Eurostat, the European Union's official data provider, reported that eurozone exports to the rest of the world increased 6.8% to €171.5bn in August, compared with the same month in 2016. Imports, meanwhile, rose 8.6% to €155.4bn.
As a result, the eurozone recorded a trade surplus of €16.1bn in August, down from the €23.2bn recorded in July and failing to match expectations of a rise to €23.3bn. The surplus in August 2016 was €17.5bn.
However, the seasonally adjusted trade surplus for the eurozone rose to €21.6bn from a revised €17.9bn in July.
Is the trend lower?
"Recent revisions reveal that net trade was a slight drag on GDP growth in the second quarter, after a jump in Q1, and we expect a repeat in the third quarter," said Claus Vistesen, chief eurozone economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.