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Trade Forecast Predicts Growth for Region

Computer and Electronics, Transportation Equipment Top Exports

Aug. 21, 2014

Exports are an important source of growth for the Southern California region and are expected to increase solidly over the next few years, reflecting strong economic activity in the U.S. and abroad, according to a 2014 International Trade Forecast released today by Cal State Fullerton economists Mira Farka and Adrian Fleissig.

In 2012, Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan statistical area (MSA) was ranked third in the nation for volume of merchandise exports with total exports of $75 billion, notes Fleissig, professor of economics. While exports from the region decreased in the last two years, "we expect this trend to reverse and the level of exports to increase, but at a pace in the single-digit range and well below the post recession peaks recorded in 2010 and 2011," he adds.

Merchandise exports for the MSA are expected to increase over the forecast horizon, rising from $75 billion in 2012 to $86.3 billion in 2015. Computer and electronic products and transportation equipment have been and will continue to be top export sectors for the region, say the researchers. North American Free Trade Agreement and Asian countries are the top trading partners and exports are expected to grow by the end of 2015.

Looking to Orange County exports, Farka and Fleissig say it is similar to the wider MSA, with Mexico being the leading destination for exports — which have doubled since the recession — followed by Canada. The county's exports are projected to grow in all major regions, and like the MSA, computer and electronic products and transportation equipment will continue to be the top categories.

"Overall, the outlook for export growth in the region is promising," says Farka, associate professor of economics. "Longer term, we forecast exports to increase significantly following the completion of current trade negotiations of the World Trade Organization, the Trans-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership."

The full report is available online.

This is the fifth international trade forecast report released by Cal State Fullerton's Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting. Housed in the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, the center releases economic forecasts, provides policy advice on economic and environmental issues and conducts regional economic analysis, as well as independent studies and sponsored research with private and public entities in the areas of its focus. Its activities are structured to allow the participation of graduate and undergraduates students.

Media Contacts:

Adrian Fleissig, 657-278-3816
Mira Farka, 657-278-7281
Pamela McLaren, 657-278-4852

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