Germany's exports dropped unexpectedly in July despite the euro zone economies showing some signs of improvement.

The Federal Statistical Office said that German exports dropped 1.1% in July from June when adjusted for seasonal and calendar differences. Economists had predicted a 0.7% rise.

Imports increased by 0.5% in the month, today's figures show.

In unadjusted terms, Germany's trade surplus fell to €16.1 billion in July from €17 billion the month before.

The office said that July exports to euro zone countries were down 0.7% compared with the same month last year, while exports to non-euro zone European countries rose 3.6%. 

Exports to non-European countries dropped 1%.

The euro zone economy emerged from recession in the second quarter.