Robust export growth was an important force helping Washington out of the recession. But through the first half of 2015, state exporters are struggling to hold their gains.

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After several years of brisk growth, Washington exporters are finally starting headwinds. The biggest culprits are the strong dollar and slow growth worldwide.

New data from WISERTrade, which tracks international trade, show that Washington merchandise exports through June totaled $43.1 billion, down 0.12 percent from the same period in 2014.

Nationally, exports were down 5.22 percent. Washington is America’s third largest exporting state, after California and Texas. Both of those states saw larger drop-offs in exports.

In 2014, Washington exports totaled $90.4 billion. Two years before, they were $75.6 billion, showing how trade was a key driver to the state’s recovery.

Oregon exports totaled $10.3 billion through June, up 0.76 percent. Idaho was $2.2 billion, down 22.28 percent. Alaska posted $1.7 billion, up 2.37 percent.

Despite China’s economic troubles, it remained Washington’s largest trade partner through the first half of the year, with exports from here rising nearly 9 percent. Still, Hong Kong exports, broken out separately, dropped more than 27 percent.

Exports to Canada fell 11 percent. Exports to the United Kingdom plummeted nearly 46 percent

Among trade commodities, aircraft and parts rose nearly 15 percent. But agricultural exports declined.

Bottom line: Barring a shock in China that makes things worse, Washington exporters will be lucky to finish this year ahead of where they stood at the end of 2014.


Today’s Econ Haiku:

Here’s a wake-up call

If China has a nightmare

You won’t be yuan-ing


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