Demand for Oregon products hasn’t kept pace with the rest of the country, following the Great Recession.
An economic analysis by Beacon Economics found the state’s share of total U.S. exports has declined in recent years.
During the decade prior to the downturn,1997 to 2008, Beacon Economics discovered Oregon’s average real growth for exports was nearly 7 percent annually compared to just over 4 percent nationally. However, post recession, Oregon’s export growth has averaged just 2 percent annually versus 3 percent in the U.S.
The findings based on data extracted from Foreign Trade Division of U.S. Census Bureau, show Oregon’s export share fell from 1.5 percent in 2008 to 1.2 percent.
Authors Partner Christopher Thornberg and Eric Meux point to reduced personal computer demand as a key element in the decline. Semiconductors from Intel Corporation are one of highest valued exports for the state, and as the popularity of smartphones and tablets has increased demand for PC chips, particularly from China, Oregon’s largest trading partner, has dampened, they said.
On a more positive note, during the first five months of 2014, Oregon’s exports increased in real terms by 14 percent over 2013 exports, surpassing the national figure of 3.3 percent.
Meanwhile, consumers apparently are brimming with confidence.
The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index increased in July with the Index rising to 90.9 (with 1985 serving as the bench-mark 100), up from 86.4 in June.
The Present Situation Index increased to 88.3 from 86.3, while the Expectations Index rose to 92.7 from 86.4 in June.
It was the third consecutive month the outlook improved and it now stands at its highest level since October 2007 (95.2).
Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators at the Conference Board, said strong job growth helped boost consumers’ assessment of current conditions, while brighter short-term outlooks for the economy and jobs, and to a lesser extent personal income, drove the gain in expectations.