Economic ties

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From Lori Mabardi
Research Manager
Jones Lang LaSalle

In a recent article, I mentioned that prolonged weakness in consumer/business demand from Europe would weigh on Bay State exports. After getting a few questions I thought I’d share some interesting data.

Yes, Boston is a service based economy as 85% of GDP comes from service-based employment. We do, however, export over $25B of goods (7% of MA GDP) each year. While Canada is the largest “single country” trading partner getting 12% of our exports, 40% of exports go to Europe as a whole.

Exports to Europe peaked in 2008 at $13B. By the end of 2010, exports dropped by 18% to just over $10.6B. While data is not available yet, we estimate this figure will likely drop further in 2011.

Almost a quarter of our exports to Europe consist of computer and electronic products. Primary metals make up another 20% and chemicals 18%. Approximately 5% of total Massachusetts private-sector employment is supported by exports. A total of almost 8,800 companies exported from MA in 2009.

In the end, we can be grateful that we are primarily a service based economy with education, healthcare and high tech firms growing and leading the way. Still, a healthy global economy helps support a healthy local economy.

Here’s to a strong and healthy global economy in 2012.

-Lori

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