Tennessee Exports Have Mid-State Economist Worried

Dec 5, 2012

Tennessee based Nissan North America is set to begin production of its all-electric Nissan LEAF at its Smyrna plant in 2013.
Credit nissanusa.com

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  Tennessee’s export sector has a mid-state economist worried, in spite of solid growth in recent quarters.

Middle Tennessee State University’s Dr. Steven Livingston specializes in the study of international trade. He says Tennessee exports are growing by a healthy seven or eight percent per quarter, but he also says that growth is increasingly dependent on a shrinking number of products headed to a shrinking number of countries.

Livingston says that, at the moment, the health of Tennessee’s export sector is heavily dependent on the automotive industry.

“Right now it’s carrying the state in terms of its export gains. And so you have to be nervous about that because the automobile trade is always a trade that moves quite a bit and quite quickly.”

Livingston also says that with Europe’s economy moving toward recession, Tennessee is relying ever more heavily on volatile markets in the Americas and the Middle East to buy Tennessee products.