New Hampshire exports fell 3.8 percent in October 2009 from the previous month, following a decrease of 19.4 percent in September.In October, $257.8 million worth of goods were shipped from New Hampshire to foreign markets — $10.1 million less than the value of exports recorded in September.As usual, manufactured goods led foreign sales, accounting for 82 percent of all state exports. Shipments abroad from New Hampshire’s manufacturers decreased in October by 1.4 percent from the previous month, to $211 million.On an annual basis, overseas sales from state factories were $122.7 million, or 28.9 percent, lower than in October of 2008.Exports of non-manufactured goods fell 13.1 percent in October to $46.8 million, adjusted for seasonal variation.How much did the worldwide recession influence the market for American goods? Global economic activity measured by all nations’ incomes after being adjusted for inflation is estimated to have declined by 1.7 percent in 2009 after rising 2.2 percent in 2008.As a result, in the first 10 months of 2009, national exports plunged 21.8 percent from the same period in 2008, compared with an average annual growth of 11.2 percent in 2008 and 13.2 percent in 2007.In its end-of-the-year global economic outlook, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts a modest recovery in industrial countries from “the most virulent recession in decades,” driven by public stimulus policies and strong demand from China, India and Brazil.The OECD forecasts economic activity of its 30 members to have declined by 3.5 percent in 2009 and to recover in 2010, posting an annual growth of 1.9 percent.In terms of New Hampshire’s major trading partners, OECD’s economic outlook predicts Canadian economic conditions to improve in 2010. Following a decline of 2.7 percent in 2009, Canada’s total income, adjusted for inflation, is forecast to grow by 2 percent in 2010 and 3 percent in 2011.In the euro area, economic conditions also are forecast to improve in 2010, posting a positive growth rate of 0.9 percent, after declining by 4 percent in 2009.The emerging economies in Asia, led by China and India, are expected to lead the growth in global incomes, and thus global demand. Particularly, the OECD predicts China’s economy to expand by 10.2 percent in 2010 and 9.3 percent in 2011.OECD predicts world trade to moderately recover during 2010-11. Following an unprecedented decline of 12.5 percent in 2009, the volume of world trade is forecast to expand by 6 percent in 2010 and 7.7 percent in 2011.Evangelos Simos, chief economist of the consulting and research firm e-forecasting.com, is editor for international affairs of the Journal of Business Forecasting and professor at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business & Economics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appears in the January 15 2010 issue of New Hampshire Business Review