Wisconsin export growth in 2018 well behind national average

U.S. trade deficit rose to 10-year high

wisconsin exports

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:07 pm

Wisconsin companies exported $22.7 billion of goods from the state in 2018, a 1.8 percent increase from 2017, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The state’s export growth ranks 38th in the country and was well behind the 7.6 percent increase in exports nationally.

Imports increased 8.5 percent nationally and the nation’s trade deficit increased from $50.3 billion in November to $59.8 billion in December, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

For all of 2018, the U.S. had a trade deficit of $621 billion, the highest since 2008 when the U.S. had a trade deficit of $709 billion. The U.S. trade deficit in goods rose to an all-time high of $891.3 billion in 2018.

Among Wisconsin’s neighboring states, Minnesota had the strongest performance, increasing exports 9.6 percent for the year. Iowa was up 6.9 percent and Indiana was up 4.2 percent. Illinois saw a 0.4 percent drop while Michigan’s exports declined 3.2 percent.

Wisconsin’s exports grew 6.1 percent in 2017 after two years of declines. The total export value in 2018 remained below the peak level of $23.4 billion in 2014.

The state ended the year on a positive note with exports increasing 4.7 percent in December. The strongest months of the year were March and May with 10.1 and 13.4 percent increases respectively. February, June, July and September all saw year-over-year decreases in exports.

Canada remained the top destination for Wisconsin products in 2018, up 1.7 percent to $7.03 billion in goods. Shipments to Mexico increased 8 percent to $3.5 billion, keeping it as the number two destination for the state. China remained third despite a nearly $100 million drop in exports to $1.6 billion.

Germany was the biggest mover among the top export destinations, going from the seventh to fourth largest export destination. Shipments to the European country increased 17.6 percent, roughly $122 million, to $814 million.

Other top 20 Wisconsin export countries with double-digit percentage increases in exports included South Korea, the Netherlands, Brazil, Italy, Thailand and Taiwan.

In addition to China, Wisconsin exports to Japan, Hong Kong and India also decreased last year.

Wisconsin also saw a $3.4 billion increase in the value of imported goods, reaching almost $31 billion. The state’s 11.7 percent increase in imports was the 20th largest jump in the country.

Imports from China into Wisconsin increased by more than $1 billion last year, a 14.4 percent increase that kept China as the top importer into the state. Shipments from Canada increased 13 percent to $4.8 billion, making it the second largest importer. Germany remained the fifth largest importer, but saw an increase of 25.1 percent to $1.9 billion.

Ireland and Mexico remained the third and fourth largest importers, but saw declines of 4.6 and 1.1 percent respectively.

Read more economic data reports at the BizTracker page.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

No posts to display