California struggling to increase exports

Golden State trade is starting to pick up again, but progress is slow.

California exports in October were valued at $11.08 billion, up 7 percent from September but down 10.9 percent from $12.44 billion in October 2008, according to statistics released Thursday by the University of California Center Sacramento.

The center based its analysis on data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.

October marked the 12th straight month that exports were down significantly from the year-ago period. It also marked the lowest export numbers for October since 2005.

Still, analysts were pleased to see a sliver of promise in the latest numbers.

"While still in serious condition, the patient's health is gradually improving," said Jock O'Connell, the UC center's international trade and economics adviser. "During the spring and early summer of this year, California's export trade had been off as much as 25 percent from the preceding year."

Through October, the UC center said, 2009 California exports totaled $97.6 billion, down 21 percent from $123.7 billion in the first 10 months of 2008.

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