German Exports Dive

German exports posted their biggest fall in half a year in October, pushing the trade surplus sharply lower in a sign Europe's largest economy weakened entering the fourth quarter of 2011.

Data from the Federal Statistics Office on Friday showed the seasonally-adjusted trade surplus falling to 12.6 billion euros from a revised 15.1 billion euros in the previous month. That compared with a consensus forecast for 14.3 billion in a Reuters poll of economists.

Exports fell by 3.6 percent from a month earlier, their largest decline since April, compared with the poll forecast for a fall of 1 percent. Imports also shrank by their biggest amount in six months, dipping 1.0 percent compared with an expected 0.5 percent rise. (Writing by Noah Barkin)