German exports rose in August amid signs the economic recovery is continuing in the euro area, the country's biggest trading partner.

Exports, adjusted for working days and seasonal changes, increased 1% from July, when they decreased a revised 0.8%, the Federal Statistics Office said today. Imports rose 0.4% from July.

Unemployment in the euro zone has fallen from a record and retail sales climbed more than forecast in August.

While the euro zone's recovery from its longest-ever recession is helping to support growth in Germany, Europe's largest economy, headwinds such as the US government shutdown remain.

Germany's trade surplus narrowed to €13.1 billion in August from €16.2 billion in July, today's report showed. The surplus in the current account, a measure of all trade including services, was €9.4 billion, down from €14.2 billion.

German consumer confidence is at the highest level since September 2007 and investor sentiment rose to a three-year high in September, according to separate surveys by Nuremberg- based GfK SE and the ZEW Centre for European Economic Research. The jobless rate of 6.9% is near a two- decade low.

Unemployment in the euro zone dropped to 12% in July from a record 12.1% in June. The rate held at that level in August and retail sales climbed 0.7%.

While the region's GDP expanded 0.3% in the three months to the enf of June after six quarterly contractions, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has warned that the US, the world's biggest economy, has the potential to derail the rebound.

US House Republicans have failed to agree on a budget with Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama, shutting down the government for the first time in 17 years.