California exports edge upwards


LOS ANGELES
October 5, 2017 9:05pm


•  Up 4.0 percent year over year in August

•  Cautions that actions in Washington could crimp state’s economy


California’s exporters recorded modest growth in August, according to a Beacon Economics’ analysis of U.S. trade statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Foreign shipments by California businesses totaled $14.69 billion for the month, a nominal 4.0 percent increase over the $14.12 billion recorded in August 2016, Beacon says.

“While the uptick in California exports is good news, it also reminds us how important it is to Californians that the U.S. achieve a successful outcome in the current NAFTA negotiations,” says Robert Kleinhenz, executive director of research at Beacon Economics. “Our state economy benefits from trade with neighbors to the north and south, benefits that may be at stake in the current political climate."

The state’s exports of manufactured goods in August rose 7.2 percent to $9.55 billion from $8.91 billion one year earlier. Exports of non-manufactured goods (chiefly agricultural products and raw materials) jumped by 7.9 percent to $1.64 billion from $1.52 billion. Re-exports, meanwhile, slipped by 5.1 percent to $3.50 billion from $3.69 billion.

California accounted for 11.4 percent of the nation’s overall merchandise export trade in August. Through the first seven months of 2017, the state’s exports are running 5.3 percent ahead of last year.

“These numbers reflect the strength and diversity of California’s economy,” says Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ international trade advisor. “Both manufactured and non-manufactured exports increased at fairly robust rates. The one lagging component of the state’s export trade were re-exports, goods that had been produced somewhere else.”

The U.S. Department of Commerce has determined that California was the state-of-destination for 18.5 percent of all U.S. merchandise imports in August, with a value of $38.0 billion, 4.6 percent higher than the $36.34 billion in imported goods in August 2016.

Manufactured imports totaled $34.41 billion, up 3.5 percent from $33.25 billion last year. Non-manufactured imports in August were valued at $3.60 billion, fully 16.5 percent higher than the $3.09 billion recorded one year earlier.

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