R.I. exports drop in February for third consecutive month

Rhode Island exports fell by $31.4 million in February, or 15.8 percent on a month-over-month basis, according to an e-forecasting.com report released Tuesday. More

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R.I. exports drop in February for third consecutive month

COURTESY E-FORECASTING.COM
RHODE ISLAND'S February exports totaled $167.4 million, a decline of 15.8 percent compared with a month earlier and the third consecutive month of declining exports. Nationally, exports declined 1.5 percent in February.
Posted 4/22/14

PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island exports fell by $31.4 million in February, or 15.8 percent on a month-over-month basis, according to an e-forecasting.com report released Tuesday.

The decline followed a 12.8 percent decline in exports between December and January and brought Rhode Island’s total exports for February to a seasonally adjusted $167.4 million. The drop in February represented the third consecutive month-over-month decline in statewide exports.

On a year-over-year basis, February exports posted a 13.2 percent decline.

Foreign sales of manufactured goods accounted for roughly 71 percent of Rhode Island’s exports in February, totaling $119.5 million. Shipments abroad from Rhode Island manufacturers in February fell one-tenth of a percent compared with the previous month, and dropped 5.2 percent compared with February 2013.

The $47.9 million total of non-manufactured exports in February represented a month-over-month decline of 39.5 percent and a year-over-year decline of 28.3 percent. Non-manufactured goods include agricultural goods, mining products and re-exports.

Rhode Island ranked 46th among the 50 states in terms of growth or reduction in exports during the first two months of 2014, e-forecasting.com reported. In January and February, Rhode Island exports dropped 13 percent compared with the same period last year. Only Alaska, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Utah registered larger percentage declines of exports for the two-month period.

U.S. exports for February totaled a seasonally adjusted $131.7 billion. The February figure represented a 1.5 percent decrease over the previous month, but an increase of four-tenths of a percent compared with February 2013.

For the full year of 2013, the United States ranked as the world’s second-largest exporter, shipping abroad $1.6 trillion worth of goods, according to the World Trade Organization’s 2014 annual report of world trade statistics released April 14. The $1.6 trillion represented a 2 percent increase over 2012 exports and compared with $2.2 trillion in exports shipped from China and $1.4 trillion shipped from Germany.

Worldwide, exports rose 2 percent in 2013 to $18 trillion. China, the United States and Germany accounted for 28 percent of that total.

“Looking ahead, if GDP forecasts hold true, we expect a broad-based but modest upturn in 2014, and further consolidation of this growth in 2015,” said WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo in the WTO report. “For 2014 world trade should rise by 4.7 percent. This is not yet quite at the historical average, but it is better than last year.”

Evangelos Simos, chief economic adviser for e-forecasting.com, said the WTO forecast suggests that Rhode Island companies will continue to receive bigger export orders from foreign buyers this year, and that local exporters will experience better export opportunities in the emerging economies than in industrialized countries.

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