New Hampshire exports rebound in March

Improving economic conditions in foreign markets where consumers and businesses buy goods made in New Hampshire contributed to stronger sales abroad in March, with Granite State firms exporting $30.5 million more in goods than they did in February.

As a result of March’s 14.3 percent surge in foreign sales, which followed a decrease of 12.2 percent in February, New Hampshire exports totaled $244.8 million.

In March 2007, state exporters sold $23.7 million, or 10.7 percent, more goods than the year before.

March’s trade performance was driven by manufactured goods, which accounted for 85 percent of all state exports. Sales abroad from New Hampshire manufacturers increased in March by 13.3 percent from the previous month to $208.9 million, adjusted for seasonal variation.

Exports of non-manufactured goods rose 20.2 percent in March to $35.9 million, adjusted for seasonal variation.

Nationally, exports rose by 2 percent in March to an all-time high of $90.2 billion. The latest rise in national exports was driven by sales of industrial supplies and materials, which hit an all-time high; also, sales of automotive vehicles, parts and engines climbed in March to their highest level on record.

New Hampshire ranked 38th in export growth among the 50 states during the first quarter of 2007. Foreign sales by New Hampshire companies increased by an annual rate of 4.6 percent as compared to last year.

According to a recent business survey conducted by the Institute of Supply Management, the nation’s supply executives continue to be optimistic about the prospects of growing export markets.

The Tempe, Ariz.-based research institute reported that its export orders index grew in April for the 53rd consecutive month. More important, the recent reading indicates that incoming export orders from foreign buyers grew in April at a faster pace than in March. Last April, export orders were growing faster than any other month in the last 13 months.

In the group of about 300 executives representing the largest U.S. corporations that ship overseas, 20 percent reported higher export orders in April from March’s levels; 74 percent reported no change in export orders and just 6 percent reported lower export orders.

Evangelos Simos, chief economist of the consulting and research firm Infometrica Inc., is editor for International Affairs in the Journal of Business Forecasting and department chair at the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business & Economics, University of New Hampshire. He may be reached at

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