German imports recorded their biggest fall for almost two years in October, far steeper than analysts had predicted, while exports also fell.
Fresh data from the German Federal Statistics Office showed imports had declined by 3.1% on the previous month, while analysts had only predicted a 1.5% fall.
German exports also fell by 0.5%, a stronger showing than many analysts had predicted.
Slowing imports could show a weakening of domestic demand in Germany, although the lower-than expected figure could partly be attributed to the recent slump in oil prices.
While Germany managed to avoid falling into recession this summer, following a contraction in the second quarter, slow growth in the eurozone's biggest economy has contributed to an overall malaise in the bloc.
Outlook for the fourth quarter looks healthier as the falling value of the euro could help exporters to sell more, while business and investor sentiment appears to have improved.