Results from the first quarter of 2010 indicate that global trade is recovering from its deepest slump since World War II, with worldwide exports totaling $2.5 trillion — the highest quarterly level since the third quarter of 2008 and an impressive 27 percent increase from the first quarter of 2009. The industries that first calmed down from the recession’s freefall and then began to show rapid recovery with needs for hiring were those for which a major part of sales is generated by foreign sales. The pace of upturn in foreign demand has been a lot faster than the recovery in domestic demand at home.The latest snapshot of the state’s trade numbers shows Granite State exports leaped by 8.1 percent in April to their fourth highest monthly mark on record — $333.1 million. The state’s exporters surpassed their previous year’s monthly volume by $102.9 million, or 44.7 percent. Manufactured goods accounted for 72 percent of New Hampshire exports. In April, exports of manufactures increased 1.4 percent from March to $239.6 million. New Hampshire first-quarter exports increased by an annual rate of 45 percent over 2009, compared with an average increase of 21.3 percent nationally. As a result, New Hampshire ranked fourth for export growth among the 50 states through the first four months of 2010.The global economic climate continued to improve in the second quarter of 2010, according to the latest findings of the World Economic Survey conducted by the Ifo Institute of Economic Research at the University of Munich in cooperation with the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce and the European Commission.The latest reading of the WES overall indicator – which captures worldwide economic conditions – rose again in the second quarter of 2010 from the previous quarter and it is now above its historical trend associated with global economic growth. Hans-Werner Sinn, president of the research institute, pointed out that the “results indicate that the world economy has found its footing.” In terms of regional growth, “the economic climate improved strongly above all again in Asia,” Sinn added.The business experts surveyed anticipate the global volume of trade to further improve in the second half of 2010, compared with current trade activity.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article appears in the July 16 2010 issue of New Hampshire Business Review