Updated March 29 at 5:29pm

Rhode Island exports plunged 14.3% in July


PROVIDENCE – Exports from Rhode Island plunged 14.3 percent in July after rallying 13.2 percent in June, according to an international trade statistics report from e-forecasting.com.

The Ocean State’s exporters sold $170.3 million in goods overseas in July, adjusted for seasonal variation. Year over year, Rhode Island’s exporting companies were out-shipped their 2011 performances by $10.2 million, or 5.6 percent.

According to the e-forecasting report, Rhode Island sales were affected by the state of global merchandise trade, which slowed to a crawl during the second quarter.

“The anticipation of weakening in worldwide economic activity translates to a slowdown in the demand for goods made in Rhode Island,” e-forecasting.com chief economist Evangelos Otto Simos said in the report. “In the next six months, orders from abroad are expected to further weaken, which would lower production and fade export-related jobs in the local economy.”

Overseas shipments from Rhode Island manufacturers, which accounted for 61 percent of the month’s exports, plunged 27.8 percent from June to $103.8 million, seasonally adjusted. Year over year, international shipments of manufactured goods dropped 5.2 percent in July.

“Following a year of strong sales abroad, Rhode Island's exporters now see the first signs of weakening in their orders from overseas as downside risks in foreign markets intensified in the last few months,” said Otto Simos.

Exports of non-manufactured goods rose 21.1 percent to $66.5 million in July, seasonally adjusted, from June. 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 1.5 percent in July to $130.8 billion, seasonally adjusted, from June. According to the e-forecasting report, the national decline reflects drops in automotives vehicles, parts and engines as well as consumer goods.

In the first seven months of the year, national exports of goods grew by an annual rate of 6.3 percent when compared with the first seven 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 seven months of 2012, earning the Ocean State the ranking of 24th among the 50 U.S. states in export growth so far this year.


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