N.H. exports surge another 12 percent

Indicators that gauge current economic conditions in industrial countries show signs of weakening, thus implying a slowdown in their demand for American goods.

Here at home, despite talks of recession, the economy stayed afloat as gross domestic product rose in the second quarter, led by strong exports to emerging economies in Asia, Latin America and oil-producing countries. Consumers and businesses in the emerging economies continued a spending spree that has picked up the pace of their purchases for foreign goods, including goods made-in-USA.

Helpful to the export boom has been the historically low value of the dollar. Despite a slight increase in the value of the dollar in the last few months, it will take years of the dollar’s reversal to begin having an adverse effect on U.S. exports.

In June, New Hampshire exporters continued to enjoy recent gains in selling their goods abroad. Following a decrease of 8.7 percent in May, exports of goods made-in-New Hampshire surged $33.9 million, or 12 percent.

The latest monthly surge brought state exports to the second-highest level on record, $315.9 million.

In June of this year, exporters shipped abroad $66.8 million, or 26.8 percent, more goods than in June of 2007.

At the national level, exports rose 5.1 percent in June to an all-time high of $116.7 billion from May. The surge in U.S. exports mainly reflected record levels in sales of capital goods, consumer goods, industrial supplies, foods, feeds and beverages.

Sales abroad of goods manufactured in New Hampshire accounted for 78 percent of all exports in June, increasing by 6 percent from the previous month to $245.6 million.

Exports of non-manufactured goods increased 39.6 percent in June to $70.3 million from May. This group of shipments abroad consists of agricultural goods, mining products and re-exports.

All told, New Hampshire ranked 15th in export growth among the 50 states during the first six months of the year.

Foreign sales from New Hampshire’s companies, seasonally adjusted, increased by an annual rate of 27.4 percent. This compares with a national average of 19.2 percent for the same period.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Supply Management’s export orders index grew in April for the 68th consecutive month.

However, the recent reading indicates that incoming export orders from foreign buyers grew in July at a slower pace than in June: 17 percent reported higher export orders in July from June’s levels; 74 percent reported no change in the volume of incoming export orders from the previous month; and 9 percent reported lower export orders.

Evangelos Simos, chief economist of the consulting and research firm Infometrica Inc., is editor, international affairs, for 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@infometrica.com.