N.H. exports fall 6.8 percent in August

Shipments abroad from New Hampshire exporters totaled $341.3 million in August, a 6.8 percent decline from July.But exporters shipped overseas $14.8 million, or 4.5 percent, more goods than in August of 2009.Manufactured goods accounted for 77 percent of all state exports in August, but those exports fell by 3.7 percent, to $263.1 million, from July. They also were 2.6 percent lower than August 2009.Exports of non-manufactured goods fell 16 percent in August to $78.2 million.For the country as a whole, America’s exports of goods, seasonally adjusted, remained flat in August, at $107.7 billion. The monthly stagnation in exports of goods reflected weak demand in the summer months due to the slowdown in the global economic recovery, particularly evidenced in the European political and economic turmoil.Looking at export growth in 2010, New Hampshire ranked sixth among the 50 states during the first eight months of this year. Compared to the same period in 2009, foreign sales from New Hampshire’s companies, seasonally adjusted, increased by an annual rate of 38.6 percent. So far this year, U.S. exports rose 22 percent.In its new semiannual economic report published in October, the International Monetary Fund said it “[does] not expect a double-dip recession [as] the probability that for the world as a whole growth would be less than 2 percent is under 5 percent.”Presenting IMF’s World Economic Outlook, Olivier Blanchard, IMF’s director of research, amply pointed out that “the world economic recovery is proceeding, but it is sluggish in advanced countries and it is much stronger in emerging and developing economies.”Given the uneven recovery pattern, IMF projects global growth to average 4.8 percent in 2010 following a decline of 0.6 percent in 2009.In 2011, global economic growth is forecasted to slow down to an average rate of 4.2 percent, implying that next year the world economy will not be better off than this yearIn the key export markets of the advanced economies that include Europe, North America and Japan, economic growth is forecasted to be 2.2 percent in 2011.However, IMF forecasts the emerging and developing economies to advance by an average growth rate of 6.4 percent in 2011, about three times faster than the industrial countries.More important, the IMF predicts the volume of international trade to slow down in 2011 to 7 percent in 2011 from 11.4 percent in 2010. Worldwide trade declined by 11 percent in 2009.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 ateosimos@e-forecasting.com.