Has the financial crisis and overall easing of economic activity in the Euro Area - the 16-member club of the European Union that uses the euro as its currency - substantially influenced foreign sales of New Hampshire's exporting companies?According to the last international trade numbers of 2010, the adverse effects of the current austerity policies in Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and even the United Kingdom have been offset by solid gains in consumers' income in the emerging countries in Asia, the Americas and in oil-producing countries.And that was good news for Granite State exporters.During the January-October period, exports of goods from New Hampshire, seasonally adjusted, increased by an annual rate of 39 percent from the same period of 2009. Consequently, New Hampshire ranked third in export growth among the 50 states during the first 10 months of this year.Sales abroad from New Hampshire companies in October surged 9.6 percent from the previous month, following an increase of 2.1 percent in September.In October, $382 million worth of goods were shipped from New Hampshire going to foreign markets, which is $33.5 million more than the value of exports recorded in September.Manufactured goods led state exports, accounting for 74 percent of all foreign sales. Shipments abroad from New Hampshire's manufacturers increased in October by 9.4 percent from the previous month to $281 million, adjusted for seasonal variation.On an annual basis, exports from state factories were $69.6 million - or 46.7 percent - higher than in October of last year.Exports of non-manufactured goods went up 10.3 percent in October to $101 million, adjusted for seasonal variation. This group consists of agricultural goods, mining products and re-exports, which are foreign goods that have entered the state as imports and are exported in substantially the same condition as when imported.Export outlookWhat are the short-term prospects for New Hampshire exports?According to a recent business survey conducted by the Institute of Supply Management, the nation's supply executives continue to be optimistic about the prospects of growing export markets.The Tempe, Ariz.-based research institute reported that its export orders index continued to show growth in new export orders in November for the 17th consecutive month.However, November's reading implies that the speed of new orders received from abroad is slightly slower than in October.From the pool of respondents of the largest U.S. corporations who sell their products abroad, 18 percent reported greater export orders, 56 percent reported no change in export orders from October's levels and 26 percent reported smaller export orders.Evangelos Simos, chief economist of the consulting and research firm e-forecasting.com, is international affairs editor of the Journal of Business Forecasting and professor at the Whittemore School of Business & Economics, University of New Hampshire. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appears in the December 31 2010 issue of New Hampshire Business Review