Publications and Research


Eugene Spruck

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



In this paper, Eugene Spruck, a Weissman Center Fellow who served as the Chief Economist of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for more than a decade, reviews U.S. international trade and trade through the NY/NJ region in 2010 and takes a look at the risk factors for 2011. According to the paper, the value of U.S. international trade rebounded sharply in 2010 and is now only 6.2 percent below the peak realized in 2008 prior to the global recession. International trade to and from the United States totaled almost $3.2 trillion, a 20.9 percent increase compared to 2009. U.S. imports grew by 22.7 percent, to more than $1.9 trillion. A reinvigoration of U.S. exports led to a 20.9 percent increase, to reach nearly $1.3 trillion. Trade through the New York-New Jersey region increased slightly faster than the U.S., growing 22.7 percent to $354.4 billion. Both imports and exports grew at the same rate with imports accounting for 61.5 percent of total trade. The bounce back in international trade was triggered by a dramatic turnaround in the performance of the global economy following the severe global recession in 2009. In 2010, global GDP growth advanced by 5.0 percent, after a decline of 0.5 percent in 2009. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the recession was led by the advanced economies which declined by 3.4 percent, while economic growth in emerging and developing never turned negative, but slowed to a growth rate of 2.7 percent. The recovery in 2010 resulted from both the turnaround in advanced economies which registered a growth rate of 3.0 percent, and an acceleration of economic growth in emerging and developing economies to 7.3 percent. As the global economy has picked up momentum in 2010 leading into 2011, the outlook for 2011 and beyond has been clouded by current events. These include turmoil in the Middle East, spiking oil prices, rising commodity prices, sovereign debt concerns, the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the lingering risks from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant disaster. The continuation of trade growth will depend on how the global economy responds to these global events.


This paper was originally published as Vol. 1 No. 5 in the WCIB Occasional Paper Series.


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