A robust August 2014 gave California’s export trade industry a high platform from which to fall this year. And fall it did.
In-state businesses shipped merchandise valued at $13.24 billion in August, down nearly 10 percent from $14.55 billion in August 2014, according to an analysis of Tuesday’s U.S. Commerce Department figures by Beacon Economics, a consulting firm with offices in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
By comparison, overall U.S. merchandise exports were down 10.4 percent in the same period. Texas saw exports fall nearly 20 percent year-over-year.
California’s exports of manufactured goods in August dropped by 9.8 percent to $8.66 billion from $9.6 billion last year. Exports of nonmanufactured goods – chiefly agricultural produce and raw materials – tumbled about 15 percent to $1.48 billion from $1.75 billion in August last year. Re-exports fell more than 3 percent to $3.09 billion from $3.2 billion a year ago.
“With all of our principal trading partners plagued by sluggish economic growth, August’s export numbers were discouraging but hardly surprising,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon’s international trade adviser.
On the import side, California took in $35.84 billion in goods in August, up almost 5 percent from $34.21 billion in August last year. Some goods entering California go to other states, so exports are considered a more accurate measure of the state’s trade health.