California exports continue rising

Mark Glover
Published: Wednesday, May. 11, 2011 - 11:08 am

California exports remained on a roll in March, despite that month's earthquake/tsunami that ravaged trading partner Japan.

The value of shipments in March totaled $13.95 billion, up 12.8 percent from $12.37 billion reported in March last year, according to an analysis of today's U.S. Commerce Department trade figures by Beacon Economics, a consultant with offices in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.

It was the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year growth.

Trade officials noted that the full effects of trade with Japan - California's No. 3 trading partner and No. 4 export market - might not become apparent until April trade statistics are reported.

California imports in March totaled $28.9 billion, up 16 percent from $24.9 billion in March last year. Some goods entering California are bound for other states, so exports are considered a more accurate measure of trade strength.

Nationally, the U.S. trade deficit rose 6 percent to $48.2 billion from February to March, driven by a spike in oil prices. The Commerce Department said the deficit was at its highest level since June of last year.

The deficit news was offset to some degree by U.S. exports totaling $172.7 billion, up 4.6 percent from February and the highest monthly goods/services total in nearly 20 years. Analysts cited the dollar's March decline, which made U.S. goods cheaper overseas.

U.S. imports rose nearly percent to about $220.9 billion, the highest since August 2008.

See more details in Thursday's edition of The Sacramento Bee. ... ising.html