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California exports return to pre-recession levels

September 8, 2011 |  2:06 pm

Finally a bit of good news for the struggling U.S. economy -- exports jumped in July, indicating there is still global demand for U.S. goods. The Commerce Department said that exports grew by $6.2 billion in July, to $178 billion, thanks to increased demand for industrial supplies and automotive goods. Imports dropped slightly from June.

The growth in exports means the nation's trade deficit contracted in June by $6.8 billion, which is the largest monthly decline since February 2009, according to Gregory Daco, principal U.S. economist with IHS Global Insight.

"Demand for U.S. goods should continue to hold, supported by robust emerging markets growth and a historically weak U.S. dollar," he wrote, in a report.

California performed well on the export front too, according to an analysis by Beacon Economics. July was the 21st consecutive month in which the state's export trade increased on a year-over-year basis, said Jock O'Connell, international trade adviser to Beacon.

"We have resumed pre-recession levels of exporting," he said.

Exports of raw materials and agricultural products grew by 24.7% from the same month last year, while manufactured exports jumped 6.1%. California exported $13.15 billion worth of goods in July, which is 11% more than the state exported in July 2010.


Rising fuel exports keep U.S. gasoline prices from falling

More sweet potatoes grace California farms and American plates

-- Alana Semuels

Photo: Increased exports helped keep the ports busy. Credit: Alana Semuels / Los Angeles Times