Euro zone nations, collectively, posted an $8.42 billion trade surplus in May, well ahead of a $1.46 billion deficit in the year-earlier period, as exports rose and imports remained relatively steady, the European Union's statistical office said Monday.

For the entire 27-nation European Union in May there was a $4.65 billion trade deficit compared with a $17.69 billion deficit in May of last year, Eurostat said.

While the euro-zone trade data for May show a decent trade surplus, this masks generally worrying trends, Howard Archer, chief euro zone and U.K. economist for IHS Global insight, told The Wall Street Journal. Even allowing for import values being brought down by lower oil prices, this points to weak euro-zone domestic demand.