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California exporters post impressive sales gains in June

August 09, 2012|By Ronald D. White
  • An A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S shipping container is off-loaded to Pier 400 at the Port of Los Angeles. The state's exporters helped business at the ports in June, registering big sales gains compared to a year earlier.
An A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S shipping container is off-loaded to Pier 400… (Tim Rue / Bloomberg )

California's exporters enjoyed a big month in June, posting impressive gains compared to the same month a year earlier, according to an analysis by Beacon Economics of foreign trade data released Thursday by the U.S. Commerce Department.

The gains came in spite of the fact that the value of the U.S. dollar rose in comparison to other world currencies, making U.S. goods more expensive overseas, the report said. The strong showing also came even as many customers of U.S. goods were in the throes of weak economic recoveries.

“With the health of most foreign markets in doubt, June's numbers continue to demonstrate the resilience of California's export industries, especially in our high-tech manufacturing sector,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics' international trade advisor.

The value of goods shipped abroad by California businesses in June was $15.18 billion, up 9.7% over the $13.83 billion in June 2011. By comparison, overall U.S. merchandise exports were up by 8.0% over the same period.

California's exports of manufactured goods climbed 10.7% to $9.71 billion, up from $8.78 billion a year earlier. Non-manufactured exports, which are mostly made up of raw materials and agricultural products, fell 4.1% to $1.58 billion, compared to $1.65 billion in June 2011.

For purposes of comparison, the Beacon Economics report said that the first 12 months of 2012 were running about 5% ahead of the inflation-adjusted pace set in 2008, the peak pre-recession year for the state's exports.

The report said that might be explained in part by California's relatively strong job growth numbers.

"Over the last few months California has been responsible for close to half of the national job growth," says Christopher Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics. "Some of this can be attributed to improving local demand for goods, but much of it is clearly due to continued growth in international demand for goods and services produced here."


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