1st Quarter 2010


tennessee monthly imports

(Click on graph for larger view.)

(Tennessee Imports)

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What Do Imports Tell Us?

How should we use this import information? A clue is the fact that the state’s imports fell dramatically between 2008 and 2009, the year of the economic meltdown. The level of imports is measuring the level of economic activity. The more production grows, the more imports are needed. Thus, a very good way to view Tennessee's imports is as a sign of its economic health. Increasing imports are signaling a growing economy. Our last chart shows Tennessee's monthly imports over the past two years, and it compares the state's performance to the nation. We see two trends. First, the state and the nation have been tracking each other rather closely. Again, Tennessee is not an isolated economy. Second, import numbers have been rising very strongly in recent months. And that is a strong indicator of an improving economy in the months to come.

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