Wednesday, July 15, 2015
The Department of Commerce has updated 2014 data on international exports at the MSA level. They have a concise infographic of most of the summary data for international exports from Pittsburgh here.
But I was looking at some of the detailed data over the last few years and the headline seems to be that Pittsburgh is seeing a rapid drop in its international exports in recent years and 2014 is the third consecutive annual drop in the value of total international exports originating in Pittsburgh. Here is the trend I see:
Not much notice I see of the 30+% drop in value since 2011 and in particular the big drop between 2012 and 2013 which was in last year's data. The two biggest exports we have? Industries labeled 'Primary metals' and 'mining (except oil and gas)', which translates to steel and coal. Probably more of the specialty steel in the export numbers I bet, but still. The drop in exports looks like it is all related to mining and thus declining coal exports since 2011/2012... and it had been increasing mining exports that is also singularly responsible for the big run up in exports between 2009 and 2011. I think mining is actually responsible for most of the volatility in this time series in general.