Updated March 24 at 6:24pm

R.I. exports surge 20.7% in August as U.S. exports fall


PROVIDENCE – Exports from the Ocean State increased 20.7 percent in August to $205.5 million on a month-to-month, seasonally adjusted basis after falling 14.3 percent in July, according to an international trade statistics report from e-forecasting.com.

Year over year, Rhode Island’s exporting companies out-stripped their 2011 August performances by $10.9 million, or 5.6 percent.

Overseas shipments from Rhode Island manufacturers, which accounted for 57 percent of the month’s exports, increased 13.5 percent from July to $117.8 million, seasonally adjusted. Year over year, international shipments of manufactured goods rose 17.6 percent in August.

“What is the outlook for exports for the rest of the year and in 2013 for Rhode Island’s companies?” asked e-forecasting.com Chief Economist Evangelos Otto Simos in the report. “It depends mainly on foreign buyers’ finances, which are affected by economic growth in their countries. The faster the buyers’ countries grow, the higher their demand for goods made in Rhode Island.”

Exports of non-manufactured goods rose 32 percent to $87.8 million in August, seasonally adjusted, from July. Nonmanufactured goods include agricultural goods, mining products and re-exports, which are foreign goods that entered the state as imports and are exported in the same condition.

Nationally, exports of goods fell 1.6 percent in August to $128.5 billion, seasonally adjusted, from July. According to the e-forecasting report, the national decline reflects drops in industrial supplies and materials, food, feeds, beverages and consumer goods, as well as automotive vehicles, parts and engines.

In the first eight months of the year, national exports of goods grew by an annual rate of 5.6 percent when compared with the first eight months of 2011.

In comparison to the same period in 2011, overseas sales from Rhode Island companies increased by an annual rate of 6.1 percent during the first eight months of 2012, earning the Ocean State the ranking of 24 among the 50 U.S. states.

The e-forecasting report pointed to the World Economic Outlook, which is published semiannually by the International Monetary Fund and evaluated global economic conditions.

“Rhode Island companies doing business abroad are expected to witness again weak levels of export orders from their major foreign markets next year, especially from clients in industrial economies,” said the e-forecasting report. “Based on the IMF report, investments in marketing state exports to fast-growing emerging economies may help hedge against industrial countries’ weakening demand.”


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