(Adds detail, background, comments)
BERLIN, Oct 8 (Reuters) - German exports rose unexpectedlyin August, underscoring the continued resilience of Europe'slargest and traditionally export-oriented economy despite theeuro zone crisis and suggesting a third quarter slowdown may bemoderate.
Seasonally adjusted exports jumped 2.4 percentmonth-on-month, far outperforming expectations for a drop of 0.5percent and beating even the highest forecast in a Reuters pollof 17 economists for a 0.5 percent rise.
"It is incredible how German exports are winning in such atough environment," said Andreas Scheuerle at DekaBank.
"The strongest areas of growth recently came from Asia andEurope outside the euro zone. The data should influenceGermany's economic output positively in the third quarter."
Germany's economy quickly bounced back from the globalfinancial crisis in 2008/9 and for a long time seemed imperviousto the euro zone's troubles but growth slowed to 0.3 percent inthe second quarter from 0.5 percent in the first as firms heldback on investments due to uncertainty in the 17-nation bloc.
Many economists now predict a German contraction in thethird and possibly fourth quarters, though they said Monday'sforeign trade data would help cushion the slowdown in the thirdquarter.
Imports inched up a mere 0.3 percent, raising questionsabout the level of domestic demand in Germany, which manyeconomists had expected would prop up growth during the eurozone crisis and a global economic slowdown.
But the figures chime with data last week which showedindustrial orders dropped in August as a slide in domesticdemand outweighed an improvement in euro zone contracts.
The seasonally-adjusted trade surplus widened to 18.3billion euros from an upwardly revised 16.3 billion euros inJuly. The consensus forecast was for it to narrow to 15.3billion euros.
(Reporting By Michelle Martin and Stephen Brown, editing byGareth Jones)
((firstname.lastname@example.org)(+ 49 30 2888 5226))
Keywords: GERMANY ECONOMY/