The world's economic problems have dropped anchor in California ports.
After nearly three years of steady growth, the state's exports dipped slightly in July compared with the same month in 2011, according to numbers released Tuesday. Trade has been a bright spot in the state's economy, but Europe's ongoing debt crisis and slowing growth in Mexico and China are cutting into the global appetite for products manufactured in California.
Not even demand from California's No. 1 export market, Mexico — which helped state businesses post surprisingly strong results in June — was enough to keep the momentum going.
"With much of Europe in recession and with slowing economic growth in even such relatively healthy foreign markets as China and Mexico, July's numbers come as no surprise," said Jock O'Connell, trade adviser for Beacon Economics, a consulting firm with offices in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.
Beacon compiles California's exports by analyzing trade figures released by the U.S. Department of Commerce. It said California companies shipped goods valued at $13.09 billion in July, down from $13.15 billion in July 2011.
For more, see: Stumbling world economy trips up California exports