Home Archives February 2008 Weak dollar a mixed blessing

Weak dollar a mixed blessing

| Print |  Email
Friday, February 01, 2008

t_dollar sign 0980

STATEWIDE There’s a basic rule of thumb when it comes to U.S. industries and a weak dollar: Exporters benefit (their goods are cheaper for other countries to buy), and importers suffer (they pay more for foreign goods).

For Oregon, where exports grew 24% between 2005 and 2006 to $15.3 billion, that should be a good thing. But it’s not that simple. Nor is it a simple question whether the weak dollar — down nearly 11% over 2007 and predicted to drop even further this year — is helping or hurting Oregon.

pdf

e-sources

Oregon's top 25 export industries by dollar amount, 2000-2005

• Oregon's top 25 export partners, 2000-2005, with ranking by percentage of total exports


• Oregon Economic and Community Development Department's analysis of Oregon's foreign exports between 2005 and 2006

Some of the state’s top export industries are riding high. Agriculture products, which make up 10% of the state’s exports, are doing extremely well, says Department of Agriculture spokesperson Bruce Pokarney. “We ship about 40% to the international market. It’s very significant,” he says. The metals and software industries are also strong, according to anecdotal accounts by industry groups.

But exports by the computer and electronic product industries — 40% of the state’s exports — are flat, says state economist Tom Potiowsky. Forest products and transportation manufacturing exporters aren’t benefiting either.

One reason is that no company only imports or exports; the ratio between the two could hurt even the largest exporter. Further complicating the question, says Randall Pozdena — senior economist at ECONorthwest and former vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco — are things such as industry regulations that limit quick response to market conditions, or China’s growth and its impact on manufacturing around the world.

So what does the weak dollar mean for Oregon? There are myriad economic forces and factors at play, making it nearly impossible to say what the weak currency will do.

Pozdena offers one possibility: When the traded-goods sector booms, it pulls resources, like employees, from the non-traded sectors with potentially broad impacts across industries, like job loss. “If you happen to live in an economic community that’s heavily construction-oriented, the sucking sound will be even stronger,” he says.

Potiowsky maintains that, as a whole, the weak dollar isn’t a bad thing. It’s a result of the dollar correcting itself after being at high levels for a long time, he says. “And without us having to do anything, it’s almost like having a productivity gain.”

ABRAHAM HYATT



Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

More Articles

Eking out a living

News
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
04.08.14 thumb ourtable-coopfarmsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.


Read more...

Closing the gap: Community colleges and workforce training

News
Thursday, March 27, 2014
03.27.14 thumb collegeBY MARY SPILDE | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Community college career, technical and workforce programs present an opportunity to bring business and education together as never before.


Read more...

Banishing oil burners reaps benefits for schools

News
Tuesday, April 01, 2014
04.02.14 thumb co2schoolsBY APRIL STREETER | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Three years ago, PPS set out to begin to convert the 1930s-era boilers from diesel/bunker fuel to cleaner-burning natural gas. Oregon’s largest school district has realized impressive carbon dioxide emissions reductions, setting an example for public and private institutions.


Read more...

Downtime with Ron Green

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

Ron Green became president and CEO of Oregon Pacific Bank in August 2013.


Read more...

The 2014 List: The Top 34 Medium Companies to Work, For in Oregon

March 2014
Thursday, February 27, 2014

100best14logoWebOur 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.

 


Read more...

Q & A with Chuck Eggert

News
Thursday, March 06, 2014
03.06.14 thumb pacfoodsBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

The founder of Pacific Foods talks about why his company has flown under the radar in Oregon, how saving a family-run chicken hatchery has helped his bottom line and why he thinks organic food is anything but elitist.


Read more...

Wheel man

March 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS