German imports fell sharply in October and exports also weakened, suggesting Europe's largest economy is still struggling to shake off the impact of a slowdown in China and other emerging markets. 

Seasonally-adjusted exports edged down by 1.2% while imports slid 3.4%, the second time in three months that imports have dropped sharply.

This is according to data from the Federal Statistics Office today. 

Economists polled by Reuters had been expecting exports to fall by 0.5% and imports to decline by 1%. 

Germany's trade surplus widened to €20.8 billion from €19.2 billion in the previous month.

Foreign trade was a drag on German growth in the third quarter, and lower-than-expected industrial output data earlier this week suggested weak demand from emerging markets is still taking a toll.