Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Oregon's Recovery: Asia and Exports

This article on the strong rebound in economic activity in Asia is good news for Oregon, whose economy exports substantially to the far east - Japan, China, South Korea and Malaysia accounted for about 32% for Oregon's exports in 2007 ($5.3 billion):

Asian economies slumped steeply when exports plunged during the winter, but most of the region is now rebounding quickly, the Asian Development Bank said in a report released on Tuesday.

The multilateral institution, based in Manila, declared that economic growth in China would be 8.2 percent this year, 1.2 percentage points higher than the bank’s forecast in March, and 8.9 percent next year.

The bank raised its 2009 growth forecast for India to 6 percent, from 5 percent predicted in March, and for developing Asian countries as a group to 3.9 percent, from 3.4 percent.

“Developing Asia is proving to be more resilient to the global downturn than was initially thought,” the bank said in a statement accompanying its semiyearly assessment.

A common factor among countries doing better than expected is that they have been able to offset weak exports by stimulating domestic demand more than anyone expected. Chinese banks have lent heavily, while the Indian government has gone on a spending spree.

Here are the total tonnage statistics for the Port of Portland. Note how 2009 is way down, but August was a strong rebound over the preceding spring and summer months. Not a trend yet, but could be a sign of things to come.

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