German imports and exports both fell in September, but the slide in goods from overseas outpaced the dip in goods being sold overseas, leading to a widening of the country's trade surplus.
Imports fell 1% month-on-month in September after two-consecutive months of increases - a 0.8% rise in August. Analysts had expected a dip in imports, but only by 0.3%.
Exports fell at a slower rate of 0.4% after a 2% rise in August. The dip was not as bad as the 1.1% fall forecast, however.
This left the trade balance at a surplus of €21.8bn in September, up from August's €21.3bn.
There was little reaction on equity markets, which had been marginally lower from the start of trade. By late morning trade in Europe, the German Dax was down 0.14% at 13,363.50.
The euro was up 0.09% against the dollar to $1.1605.