1st Quarter 2017



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in percentage terms, the state has now lagged behind the rest of the U.S. for the past four quarters.

 

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Trade Report continued

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Geographically, Australia produced the best percentage growth in state exports this past quarter. Auto exports accounted for the lion's share of Tennessee's 12 percent gain in shipments Down Under. Korea was next. Its purchases of Tennessee goods rose about 11 percent, with cars and silicon leading the way. Thanks to cotton and aircraft, Tennessee's shipments to Southeast Asia gained about 10 percent. Exports to Japan were up 7.6 percent, mostly due to automotive parts (and despite the large drop in electric battery shipments). The Euro Area, led by Germany, turned in a 6 percent gain. (Shipments to the U.K., on the other hand, fell about 5 percent.)
Finally, shipments in the NAFTA market were up by 4 percent. Aircraft, tires, and aluminum plating generated a 7 percent gain in Mexico. Increases in car, computer, and bulldozer shipments pushed Canada into positive numbers, but they were countered by a substantial drop in shipments of auto parts, limiting net export growth to Canada to a bit more than 2 percent.

Elsewhere, state exporters at least held their own. The fact that exports did not decline in any major global region might be considered a good sign for the rest of the year. While the world economy may not yet be firing on all cylinders, there appears to be at least modest growth across most of the globe.

In all, it could have been better, and it could have been worse. Tennessee stopped its losses of the past several quarters and turned in very solid numbers for the first quarter. On the other hand, in percentage terms, the state has now lagged behind the rest of the U.S. for the past four quarters. At some point, state exporters need to get their mojo back!