Business & Real Estate

Economic rumblings abroad reflected in latest California export numbers

Economic rumblings in key markets abroad were reflected in California’s export trade totals for June.

In-state businesses shipped merchandise valued at $15.11 billion in June, down 4.2 percent from $15.77 billion in June 2014, according to an analysis of Wednesday’s U.S. Commerce Department figures by Beacon Economics, a consulting firm with Bay Area and Los Angeles offices.

State exports of manufactured goods in June totaled $9.42 billion, down about 5.5 percent from $9.96 billion in June last year. Exports of non-manufactured goods – chiefly agricultural produce and raw materials – tumbled more than 12 percent, from $1.95 billion to $1.71 billion; re-exports rose more than 3.5 percent, from $3.86 billion to about $4 billion.

“Given the condition of the global economy right now, California’s June export numbers certainly could have been a lot worse,” said Jock O’Connell, Beacon’s international trade adviser.

Through six months, California export trade is lagging behind last year’s pace by 2.7 percent. Golden State businesses shipped merchandise valued at a record $174.13 billion in 2014.

On the import side, California took in $36 billion in goods in June, up 5.5 percent from $34.12 billion in June last year. Because some goods entering California ports and airports go to other states, exports are considered a more accurate measure of the state's trade health.