California businesses shipped merchandise valued at $13.98 billion in July, up 6.8 percent from $13.09 billion in July 2012, according to an analysis of today’s U.S. Commerce Department figures by Beacon Economics, a consulting firm with offices in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
It was a solid month in a year of ups and downs – primarily a result of struggling economies overseas – and a state export industry that has been lagging behind last year’s totals. Through the first half of this year, California’s $80.92 billion in export trade fell short of $81.97 billion recorded in the first six months of 2012.
On the import side, California took in $33.56 billion in July, up 5.1 percent from $31.93 billion in July last year. Some goods entering California go to other states, so exports are considered a more accurate measure of the state's trade health.
Nationally, the Commerce Department said the U.S. trade gap rose more than 13 percent to about $39.2 billion in July. That’s up from June’s deficit of $34.5 billion, which was the smallest since late 2009.
Exports of goods and services slipped 0.6 percent to $189.4 billion in the June-to-July period as U.S. companies shipped fewer capital goods, such as civilian aircraft and industrial engines. Imports increased 1.6 percent to $228.6 billion, lifted by more shipments of oil, autos and consumer goods.
Call The Bee’s Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.