N.H. exports bounced back in August

Shipments abroad by New Hampshire companies surged 15.5 percent in August, following a decrease of 1.3 percent in July. As a result, $388.4 million worth of goods left New Hampshire for international markets in August.In August of this year, exporters shipped overseas $38.9 million, or 11.1 percent, more goods than in August of last year.Manufactured goods accounted for 75 percent of all state exports in August, increasing by 14.5 percent from the previous month to $290.5 million. Such shipments were $23.5 million, or 8.8 percent higher than in August of 2010.Exports of non-manufactured goods rose 18.6 percent in August, reaching $98 million. This group of shipments includes agricultural goods, mining products and re-exports.Nationally, exports fell 0.1 percent in August to $126.7 billion. Key industries reporting increases in exports in August were consumer goods, foods, feeds and beverages, and industrial supplies and materials. Decreases were recorded in the auto and capital goods industries.With an annual rate of growth of 8 percent during the first eight months of 2011, New Hampshire ranked 42nd among the 50 states. The U.S. export increase was 20.2 percent.What is the outlook for export orders for the rest of the year and in 2012 for New Hampshire’s companies? In its new semiannual economic report published in October, the International Monetary Fund said “the global economy has entered a dangerous new phase.”IMF forecasts global growth to slow down to an average rate of 4.0 percent in 2011 from 5.1 percent in 2010. In 2012, global economic growth is forecasted to be 4.0 percent as well.In the key export markets of the advanced economies that include Europe, North America and Japan, economic growth is forecasted to be 1.9 percent in 2012. However, IMF forecasts the emerging and developing economies to advance by an average growth rate of 6.1 percent in 2012.The IMF predicts the volume of international trade to further slow down in 2012 to an annual rate of 5.8 percent. The World Economic Outlook forecasts growth in worldwide trade to have slowed down to 7.5 percent in 2011 from 12.8 percent in 2010. In other words, growth in world trade next year is expected to be one half of that recorded in 2010.Evangelos Simos, chief economist of the consulting and research firm e-forecasting.com, is editor for international affairs at the Journal of Business Forecasting and professor of economics at the Whittemore School of Business & Economics at the University of New Hampshire. He may be reached at eosimos@e-forecasting.com.