* October exports up 1.0 pct y/y, imports fall 3 pct y/y
* Southern periphery regains competitiveness
* Euro zone Jan-Oct surplus more than doubles y/y
By Martin Santa
BRUSSELS, Dec 16 The euro zone's external trade
surplus almost doubled year-on-year in October, data showed on
Monday, thanks to a modest rise in exports and a fall in imports
which point to rising euro zone competitiveness but still weak
The trade surplus for the 17 countries sharing the euro,
unadjusted for seasonal swings, was 17.2 billion euros ($23.62
billion) in October, compared with 9.6 billion euro surplus in
the same period last year.
The trade surplus of the 9.5 trillion euro economy more than
doubled in the first ten months of the year to 122.8 billion
euros compared with 57.4 billion euros in the same period of
2012, data from the EU's statistics office showed.
Non-seasonally adjusted, exports from the euro zone rose by
1 percent on the year in October after a 3 percent increase in
September, while imports fell by 3 percent, following a 1
percent rise in September.
In a sign the southern periphery was regaining
competitiveness, crucial for balancing the fragile economic
rebound in the single currency area, Portugal saw exports rising
4 percent in the first nine months and exports from Greece and
Spain were up 5 percent.
The United Kingdom, flirting with the idea of leaving the
European Union after a planned 'in-or-out' referendum in 2017,
remains the bloc's biggest trade partner both in terms of
exports and imports.
Seasonally adjusted exports from Germany, Europe's largest
economy, fell 0.9 percent in October, which was counterbalanced
by a 1.0 percent decline in imports.
The euro zone recovery almost stalled in the third quarter
after a return to growth in the second quarter.($1 = 0.7283 euros)