N.H. exports continue their 2011 slide

With the world economy slowing down amid the financial crisis in Europe and weakening growth in Asia, we see a fading trend in the foreign demand for goods made in New Hampshire.According to the latest export numbers, shipments abroad from New Hampshire’s exporters plunged to $335.6 million in September — $52.9 million, or 13.6 percent, less than in August. The total was $15 million, or 4.3 percent, lower than September 2010.September’s exports for the most part were driven by manufactured goods, which accounted for 79 percent of all state exports. Foreign sales from New Hampshire’s manufacturers decreased in September by 8.7 percent from the previous month, to $265.3 million.The September 2011 total was 8.8 million, or 4.3 percent, higher than last September.Exports of non-manufactured goods fell 28.3 percent, to $70.3 million.For the United States as a whole, exports of goods rose by 18.1 percent through September.Worldwide, in the first nine months of 2011, seasonally adjusted merchandise exports increased by 21.7 percent, according to data compiled by the World Trade Organization.With an annual increase of 6.6 percent through September, New Hampshire ranked 45th in export growth among the 50 states.According to a survey by the Institute of Supply Management, the nation’s supply executives are not optimistic about the prospects of growing export markets.The research institute reported that its export orders index was flat in October, following 28 consecutive months of growth in incoming orders from abroad.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.