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Economic Base

Source: Census (Origin of Movement Series) VT Exports, Vermont GDP, US export data, US GDP data

Vermont exports as share of GDP has undergone a steady decline over the past couple of decades. This is the inverse of the national share which has seen overall growth. The value of the state’s foreign exports in 2017 was almost $2.8 billion, down from nearly $3 billion in 2016, a decrease of 7.3%. Vermont’s largest trading partner continues to be Canada, however, the percentage of trade continues to shrink. Other significant trading partners include Hong Kong, China, and South Korea. Over half of Vermont’s export value comes from producing electronic circuits.

Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Economic activity from outside the state is directly responsible for over 1/3 of the private sector jobs in Vermont. This “minimum requirements” analysis benchmarks Vermont employment to comparison states, to highlight “basic” economic activity that imports dollars through sales of goods or services. This chart shows the top industries that produce the jobs beyond what we would expect based on other benchmark state economies. The light green bar is total Vermont employment in that category, and the dark green bar is employment above and beyond what we would expect in Vermont.

Source: Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM)

Some recovery occurred post-recession in the value of shipments from the Vermont Manufacturing sector. Over $9 billion in shipments were reported in 2014, but the trend has been downward since 2011 when shipments topped $11 billion. Vermont is 25% below 2004-2007 levels.

Source: Annual Survey of Manufactures (ASM)

Capital Expenditures by Vermont manufacturers decreased slightly from 2013 to 2014. Investments had dropped during the recession but picked up in 2011, generally trending with shipment value (see previous data tab). All data is in real 2015 dollars.