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CALIFORNIA EXPORTS: Another Month of Strong Growth Brightens an Otherwise Dreary Economic Picture

September 8, 2011—LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA. In yet another sign that the US is not heading into a second dip, California exporters recorded yet another month of double-digit growth in July, the 21st consecutive month in which the state’s export trade increased on a year-over-year basis.

Goods exported by California businesses in July had a value of $13.15 billion, a nominal gain of 10.9 percent over the $11.86 billion reported in the same month last year, according to an analysis by Beacon Economics of foreign trade data released this morning by the U.S. Commerce Department.

The state’s manufactured exports edged up by 6.1 percent, while non-manufactured exports (chiefly raw materials and agricultural products) rose 24.7 percent. Re-exports, meanwhile, saw a 19.0 percent rise.

“Adjusting the numbers for inflation shows that have resumed pre-recession levels of exporting,” observed Jock O’Connell, Beacon Economics’ International Trade Adviser.

However, there are signs that the state’s export trade may be starting to lose steam. On a seasonally-adjusted basis, July’s exports were down about five percent from June. However this is likely due to the inherent volatility of the estimates. For the US overall exports rose by 3.5%. This reverses last months results, where California saw an increase in exports--while the US overall experienced a small decline.

Beacon Economics expects continued gains in California’s export trade through the remainder of the year, as the US and world economies overcome the negative shocks that hit earlier in the air. "Growth in the US and world economy will accelerate as the year moves on" said Chris Thornberg, founding partner at the firm "and this will definitely boost those export figures". But there are fundamental limitations based on the debt issues in Europe and mild inflationary pressures in the developing world.

“There will be growth. It just won’t be as robust as we would prefer it to be,” O’Connell added.