Self-Inflicted Economic Wounds

For most of the past four years manufacturing employment has grown faster than total non-farm employment in NH, that is until recently. More recently manufacturing job growth has stagnated. A big reason for manufacturing’s job growth was the rapid rise in merchandise exports from NH. On a percentage basis NH exports have grown much faster since 2016 than have overall U.S. exports or exports from the rest of New England.

Exports of transportation equipment, primarily aircraft/aerospace parts and equipment have been the largest contributor to NH’s export growth, accounting for almost $1 billion of the state’s $1.23 increase in exports between Q1 2016 and Q1 2019.

Trade frictions, a slowing world economy, and developments in key export industries worldwide (slower demand for new non-defense and defense aircraft) have more recently combined to slow export growth with concomitant impacts on NH’s manufacturing employment. In the past I have argued that when the economy is strong the biggest mistakes are made, e.g. business and consumers borrow and spend too much, or in this case the government creates unnecessary trade barriers. We have little control over a slowing world economy but we need not exacerbate it by limiting world trade.

Explore posts in the same categories: Exports, International trade, manufacturing, NH Economy

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