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California Export Growth Tops Nation As A Whole

Screen shot 2012-06-15 at 12.12.22 PMMay 6, 2014 – California’s exporters once again posted impressive numbers in March, with the value of the state’s merchandise export trade surging ahead by 9.6% over the same month one year earlier, according to a Beacon Economics’ analysis of foreign trade data released this morning by the U.S. Commerce Department.
For the month of March, the state’s merchandise export trade totaled $15.43 billion, up from $14.07 billion in March 2013. By comparison, overall U.S. merchandise exports increased by just 4.1% over the same period.
“The state’s manufacturers, growers, and trading companies continue to providence abundant evidence of the competitiveness of California’s economy in today’s global marketplace,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ International Trade Adviser. “After years of economic travail, the term “Golden State” is starting to sound less and less ironic.”
Beacon Economics’ Founding Partner Christopher Thornberg added that while the state’s business climate could use some work, the fundamentals of California’s competitiveness are often overlooked or dismissed. ”These data show how the state’s entrepreneurs and corporate leaders not only can but are succeeding in a highly competitive marketplace,” Thornberg said. “We need to persist in pushing for substantial reforms in California, but in the meantime we expect the state’s growth to continue.”
March also saw an 11.3% jump in California’s manufactured exports, which totaled $10.29 billion, up from $9.25 billion one year earlier.
Meanwhile, the state’s exports of non-manufactured goods (chiefly agricultural produce and raw materials) in March totaled $1.93 billion, up 8.4% from $1.78 billion the previous March. Re-exports grew by 5.3% to $3.21 billion from $3.05 billion.
Through this year’s first quarter, the state’s export trade was running 6.8% ahead of the first three months of 2013, rising to $42.05 billion. By contrast, overall U.S. merchandise exports rose by just 2.6% during the same period.
Manufactured exports from California were up 6.2% to $27.57 billion. The state’s first quarter exports of non-manufactured goods totaled $5.49 billion, a gain of 11.3%, while re-exports increased 6.2% to $8.99 billion.
The following table shows the year-to-date export trade value, and the year-over-year change in that value, for the United States and the top 20 U.S. states. “Looking comparatively, California is second only to Texas in terms of the value of exported goods,” said Thornberg. “Moreover, the state’s exports grew at 3 times the national pace for the first quarter of the year.” Beginning this month, Beacon Economics’ monthly trade analysis will include broader comparisons to other states and to the nation as a whole.

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