News Column

California Exports Slid 4.5 Percent in May

July 3, 2013

A dip in shipments of manufactured items pushed California exports down in May, compared with the year-ago period.

In-state businesses shipped merchandise valued at $13.25 billion in May, down about 4.5 percent from $13.88 billion in May 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.

May's export total ran slightly ahead $13.07 billion reported in April.

State exports of manufactured items fell from $9.18 billion in May last year to $8.56 billion this year.

Year over year, exports of non-manufactured goods (chiefly agricultural produce and raw materials) rose from $1.7 billion to $1.78 billion, but re-exports declined from $3 billion to $2.91 billion.

On the import side, California took in $32.29 billion in May, up about 0.25 percent from $32.21 billion in May 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 U.S. trade deficit widened from $40.1 billion in April to $45 billion in May, a spike of about 12 percent and the highest level in six months.

The Commerce Department cited sluggish overseas economies, and sales of American farm products dropped to their lowest level in two years. Decreased shipments of wheat, soybeans and corn helped drag down the value of U.S. ag shipments to $9.8 billion.

Meanwhile, exports of U.S.-made autos and auto parts set a record of $13.1 billion.

Overall, exports of U.S. goods and services slipped 0.3 percent between April and May to $187.1 billion.

Imports rose 1.9 percent to $232.1 billion, boosted by a record $26 billion in shipments of foreign-made autos and auto parts.


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Source: Copyright Sacramento Bee (CA) 2013

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