California exports slip slightly
September 6, 2017
• A 1.5 percent year-over-year decline
• “The dip is a reflection of normal mid-summer doldrums”
California’s export trade declined modestly in the latest numbers, according to a Beacon Economics analysis of U.S. trade statistics.
Foreign shipments of goods by California businesses totaled $13.30 billion in July, a nominal 1.5 percent decline from the $13.51 billion recorded in July 2016.
“More than anything else, the dip is a reflection of normal mid-summer doldrums,” says Beacon Economics International Trade Advisor Jock O’Connell. "It’s just that this year our export trade was rather more languid than usual."
Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, sounds a similarly positive tone. “These numbers aren’t as good as seen earlier in the year, but there is no reason to think this data is the start of another slowing,” says Mr. Thornberg. “The steady strengthening of the global economy and the fact that the U.S. dollar has depreciated to levels not seen since early 2015 suggests that exports should show solid signs of growth in the second half of 2017.”
Exports to the European Union were off 9.1 percent from last July, while shipments to Asia inched ahead by just 0.3 percent. More buoyant was California’s export trade with NAFTA partners Canada and Mexico, which rose by 2.2 percent over last July's level.
The state’s exports of manufactured goods in July slid 2 percent to $8.38 billion from $8.55 billion one year earlier. Exports of non-manufactured goods (chiefly agricultural products and raw materials) improved by 2.6 percent to $1.60 billion from $1.56 billion. Re-exports, meanwhile, slipped by 2.4 percent to $3.32 billion from $3.40 billion.
California accounted for 10.9 percent of the nation’s overall merchandise export trade in July. Through the first seven months of 2017, the state’s exports are running 5.9 percent ahead of last year’s pace.