This volume of “Export Trends in Washington State” is the fourth fact sheet in a series of WSU Extension publications providing Washington export information and data. Subsequent fact sheets in this series will update and highlight changes in this current information. The WSU Extension publication “The Collection and Description of Washington State Export Data” (Cassey 2010) includes a description of the process by which the Washington State export data used in this series are collected, along with interpretation limitations for these data, as well as definitions for many technical terms.
This fact sheet includes data that depict trends in Washington exports, by industry, from 2002 to 2010. The data are represented as an inflation-adjusted time series, which allows export trends to be observed. These figures also emphasize the relationships between Washington’s individual export industries and its overall state-level exporting activity. The industries studied include some of the largest in the state, for example, the aerospace industry. But special attention will be given to the processed agricultural products industries, such as those that produce fruit and vegetable preserves and grain and oilseed milling products.
New information in this fact sheet includes updated export figures, with 2010 data and tables listing Washington State’s top export markets and industries. These tables show the changing composition of exports in terms of both industry and destination. Data on the pulp, paper, and paperboard mill products industry have also been added because it has emerged as one of Washington State’s top export industries.
The data given here emphasize exports in the context of time, which enables the reader to determine how industry and total exports from Washington State have changed since 2002. Unlike most publications in which data are reported in current-year dollars, the data here are inflation-adjusted. This means that year-to-year data are directly comparable. Finally, this report contains the only existent data on the number of countries receiving Washington exports that is categorized by industry. When combined with the data on exports, this information allows the reader to assess whether changes to exports result from changes in sales to current importing countries or from changes in the number of importing countries.
Washington State’s Department of Commerce provides general international trade statistics in its Commerce Quarterly Trade Bulletin.
The World Institute for Strategic Economic Research (http://www.wisertrade.org) is the source for Washington’s export data. In “The Collection and Description of Washington State Export Data,” Cassey (2010) provides a full description of these data and how they are collected. The key feature of the state export data is its focus on the location from which exporting begins rather than on the location from which exported goods are produced. This has important implications for the accuracy of data interpretation and conclusions. Refer to Cassey (2010) for a more detailed discussion.
Though the origin-of-movement state export data are only available for purchase, some Washington State export data can be obtained at no cost from TradeStats Express™ (http://tse.export.gov/). In this fact sheet, all nominal export data have been adjusted for inflation using the annual values from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all urban consumers (for all items less food and energy) in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area. (These CPI data are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) at http://www.bls.gov/cpi, Series ID: CUUSA423SA0L1E.) The base year used is the 1982–1984 average.1 This means that the dollar value of the data provided corresponds to the value of the dollar from 1982 to 1984. Data on shipments are from the Geographic Area Statistics of the Annual Survey of Manufactures and the Economic Census conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Many of the subsequent figures, along with the associated data in tabular form, can be found on the website for Washington State University’s School of Economic Sciences.
1This base year is the standard used by the BLS. Any year may be the base year without changing the data’s meaning. For convenience, we use the standard BLS base year.