Report: Tennessee quarterly exports dip $500M year-over-year

Published 10:04 am Wednesday, December 18, 2019

MURFREESBORO (AP) — Exports in Tennessee dropped by more than $500 million during the third quarter compared to the same period last year, falling to $7.8 billion, according to a report released Monday.

Middle Tennessee State University’s Business and Economic Research Center reported that the decline of 6.6% in Tennessee exceeded the 1.7% dip in exports seen nationally. It’s the same story seen during the second quarter in Tennessee, with tepid global growth, slowdown in the automotive industry and effects of trade wars under President Donald Trump’s administration, according to the analysis.

Tennessee ranked 37th among states in its export performance last quarter.

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The report cited successes within the medical equipment category, with medical and dental instruments up by more than $100 million, or 23%; orthopedics and artificial joint exports up almost $100 million, or 35%; and medicines and pharmaceuticals increased by $76 million, a 43% gain.

But several sectors saw export losses, and they were often deep, according to the report.

Aircraft shipments were down almost $200 million, or 43%. Cars themselves fell 16%, a $100 million loss, and several other automotive-related exports also struggled. Whiskey, a target of retaliatory tariffs, lost $75 million in the quarter compared to the same time in 2018.