1st Quarter 2013

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Index continued

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The 2010-2012 index includes new entrants Chile, Colombia, and Russia. They replace Kuwait, Malaysia, and Sweden, all of which now account for less than 0.5% of state exports. The most significant change in the index is the relative decline of Canada. It composed 35% of our previous index but just over 30% of our revision. India nearly doubled its importance to the index, the largest percentage change, but it remains a rather small market, still receiving less than 1% of the state's foreign sales.

The new index (page 5) points to the slow evolution of the state's export geography. Over the past two decades, the state has seen reduced trade flows to Europe and a slow but steady growth in Latin America. (Our very first Index, back in the 1990s, had only Mexico and Brazil included; we now have five Latin American nations.) NAFTA and the Pacific Rim, the other two major trading regions, are a bit more difficult to summarize. The former was taking a larger share of state exports for most the 1990s and the first part of the past decade but has retreated somewhat in the past several years. It remains a bigger piece of the state exporters' pie than it was before the NAFTA agreement began, however. The Pacific Rim shows the reverse pattern, falling as a share of state exports after the mid-1990s but then gaining it back and more over the past several years. The pattern to the Pacific Rim trade has been driven most significantly by a sharp drop in exports to Japan in the late 1990s that has been decidedly reversed in recent years.

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tennessee trade-weighted dollar index graph