Spring 1996 - Volume 1, No. 4
Tennessee International Trade Report
Tennessee's exports reached nearly $2.12 billion in the fourth quarter of 1995, up some $33 million from the previous quarter. This is a gain of just over 5% from the fourth quarter of 1994 and marks the first year the state's exports exceeded $2 billion in every quarter. However, when adjusted for inflation, these figures indicate that export growth has decidedly flattened over the quarter. Nevertheless, while few sectors experienced the spectacular growth of the first part of 1995, most industries showed healthy increases in foreign shipments. Six of the state's seven leading industries increased their sales over last year, though it was two relatively small industries, nonmetallic minerals and petroleum and coal products, which posted the biggest gains. On the other hand, both the textile and apparel industries' exports were off over 20%, suggesting the continuing strength of foreign competition in these sectors. Exports to Canada, the European Community, and Japan all grew modestly, but Mexico, Tennessee's fourth large market, continued its recent slide, with state exports there falling 13%. The rest of the world proved a mixed bag. Tennessee exports did very well in East and Southeast Asia, and in the "southern cone" of South America. Note that Chile's interest in joining the NAFTA was accompanied by a 70% increase in its imports from Tennessee. Yet sales to a number of other Latin America countries and throughout the Indian Subcontinent fell dramatically. Solid gains in exports were made to both Russia and South Africa, reversing recent trends in those markets.
Exports in 1996, however, are not off to a good start. Even after adjusting for a change in the Department of Commerce's reportage of reexport figures, January's exports are down about $9 million (1.23 percent) from a year ago. This is the first such decline in several years.
note: paper products turned in the best 4th quarter
performance among the state's large export sectors
Poland was the fastest growing of all the state's markets this past quarter
4th Quarter 1995
4th Quarter 1996
(among countries with more than $2m in sales per quarter)
(Seasonally adjusted, expressed in 1993 dollars)
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