Monday, July 26, 2010

export-less Burgh

Brookings has a new report out on the role of international exports in regional economies for Great Lakes communities.  From their report we look to be trailing most other regions of late, which I suspect is a reflection of manufacturing's continued decline withing the region.  We certainly are not on the list of regions within the US for being a top exporter.  Cincinatti beats us by far even, which I suspect is a reflection of GE.  What we sell to the world currently is much as we have for the last century: mining and metals although the mix of where we are exporting to is changing a bit.

update:  Reading some of the news coverage on the report, I didn't originally pay too much attention to some data on patents in the report and that we are reported to be lagging there as well.   While there are some longstanding arugments over whether patent data in itself is much of an indicator on 'innovation' it's one of those things that its not so great, but it's better than any other metric we have. Meaningfully measuring innovation remains one of those holy grails that eludes us for the most part.  I could update a breakdown of local patent 'production' that I did quite some years ago on page 2 of this file. Would be interesting to see how it has changed I suppose.


Anonymous BrianTH said...

If I am reading this right . . .

We were #23 in 2008, which is more or less in line with our metro area population ranking.

Monday, July 26, 2010 9:59:00 AM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Good point Brian; It would appear that Pittsburgh is in line with a metro area of its size. And with the Pittsburgh economy based on education and health fields that limits what things can be exported.

Its strange there aren't more big pharma centers here, what with all the medical research being conducted here.

Monday, July 26, 2010 1:05:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

I also wonder if being the de facto capital city of our own little U.S. region makes it less likely we will export services outside the country. That thought occurred to me after seeing Washington, DC was below us, and Denver way down below us, and Atlanta, while above us, is down lower than you might expect.

Monday, July 26, 2010 1:21:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Come to think of it, Chicago, another de facto regional capital. is below where you would expect it too.

Monday, July 26, 2010 1:23:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

DC is basically a government center...all they can export is bureaucracy.

Like Pitt, Denver and Atlanta are land locked. If you are a company that has a large number of exports, you locate your facilities near ports like NY, LA, SD, Miami, Philly and Balt to reduce shipping and handling costs.

Even Cincinnati and Peoria are major exporters (probably mostly grain and ag products) because they sit on great rivers.

Monday, July 26, 2010 1:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What river does Cincinnati sit on?

Monday, July 26, 2010 2:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Ohio

Monday, July 26, 2010 2:25:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

"Based on 2007 data from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh is the second busiest inland port in the nation and the 19th busiest port, of any kind, in the nation."

Meanwhile, Baltimore was actually way down the list.

Monday, July 26, 2010 3:30:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Pittsburgh apparently has the second-busiest inland port, and nineteenth-busiest overall port, in the United States.

Meanwhile, Baltimore was actually way down the total exports list.

Monday, July 26, 2010 3:32:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

I think Cincinatti is because of GE and a lot of stuff they make for export. Lots of engines of various kinds, but other stuff.

the '2nd busiest' inland port is a funny metric. #1 is not really a port at all.. but a consolidated metric for like 100 miles of the Ohio river.

why the interest today? kind of a boring post but comments and overall hitcounts are spiking today? You would think I commented on cupcakes or something....

Monday, July 26, 2010 5:29:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Well, I accidentally double-posted because the first time I got an error message . . .

. . . or maybe it is the rumors of swag (merit badges and such) going around.

Monday, July 26, 2010 8:49:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

Oh, and to continue my one-man mission to make this the most inexplicably active thread in Null Space history . . .

I agree if you go looking for the Port of Pittsburgh (maybe to see all the ships and such), you will be disappointed. It is actually made up of over 200 river terminals and such scattered over all three rivers.

That said, to the extent we are talking about the ability of the Pittsburgh Metro to ship goods by water, all that presumably counts.

Monday, July 26, 2010 8:59:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I agree if you go looking for the Port of Pittsburgh (maybe to see all the ships and such), you will be disappointed. It is actually made up of over 200 river terminals and such scattered over all three rivers.

I heard that they were going to cut 1/3 of those terminals because the state won't fund the Port Authority.

Monday, July 26, 2010 9:02:00 PM  
Anonymous The Wiz said...

Perhaps the interest is because of the upcoming Project 32 meetings. I am attending one of them tomorrow.

Monday, July 26, 2010 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

So if you plan to take a bus to see the Port of Pittsburgh, you may be triply disappointed.

Monday, July 26, 2010 10:41:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

If you enjoy seats covered with gum, at least you won't have a completely wasted trip.

Monday, July 26, 2010 11:35:00 PM  

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