Updated March 29 at 6:27pm

R.I. exports plunge 23.1% in May


PROVIDENCE – Exports from Rhode Island plunged 23.1 percent in May, following a 7.4 percent increase in April, according to an international trade statistics report from e-forecasting.com.

The Ocean State’s exporters sold $175.5 million in goods overseas in May, adjusted for seasonal variation. Year over year, Rhode Island’s exporting companies fell behind their 2011 performances by $7.6 million, or 4.1 percent.

According to the e-forecasting report, Rhode Island’s foreign sales reflected the mix of trends in foreign demand for goods made by different industries during May.

Overseas shipments from Rhode Island manufacturers, which accounted for 80 percent of the month’s exports, decreased by 8.6 percent from April to $140.2 million, seasonally adjusted.

Exports of nonmanufactured goods dropped 52.9 percent to $35.4 million in May, adjusted for seasonal variation. Non-manufactured 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.

According to the latest business survey conducted by the Institute of Supply Management, the nation’s purchasing executives are not longer optimistic about the prospects of growing export markets,” said e-forecasting.com chief economist Evangelos Otto Simos.

“The Tempe, Arizona-based research institute reported that their export orders index showed in June the first contraction signal since June 2009,” said Simos.

Nationally, exports of goods were flat in May, holding at April’s level of $130.7 billion, adjusted for seasonal variation.

In the first five months of the year, national exports of goods grew by an annual rate of 6.3 percent, compared to an average growth of 16.2 percent in 2011.

Rhode Island ranked twenty fourth among the fifty states in export growth so far this year, according to the e-forecasting report.


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