Below are highlights from the recently released trade data from the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Economic Analysis. To view additional data and analysis related to the California economy visit our website at www.centerforjobs.org/ca.
The April data in general indicates a slowing in trade activity for the state. Total trade through the state’s ports was down 12.0% compared to April 2022, while the share of US goods trade through California (measured as a 12-month moving average) continued a 25-month long decline. In real terms, origin exports were off 9% from pre-pandemic April 2019, although destination imports were essentially level.
The slowing trade activity reflects the general slowing in the economy combined with shipper concerns over the extended port labor negotiations along with the increasing costs coming from state regulations. These concerns were likely accelerated following labor actions shutting down port activity in the San Pedro Bay ports, Port Hueneme, and Oakland.
The April data also includes the annual data revisions, in this instance revising data beginning in 2018. For California, these updates indicate total origin exports in 2020-22 were $616 million (0.12%) lower than previously reported, while destination imports were $614 million (0.04%) higher. The full data revisions are available through the Center’s site.