Nevada was hit pretty hard during the economic downturn as its property market and tourism industry was slammed.
So the state was toast right? Well, things were rough, with unemployment hitting 13% in January this year, but Nevada’s economy isn’t as simple as most of us might imagine.
The state produces a fair share of agricultural products, manufactured goods, and most notably… gold.
The result was that exports proved far more defensive during the downturn than most states
“The reasons that Nevada was more resilient than other states in the export decrease was we are shipping to many of the countries who have rapidly growing economies,” Di Stefano said. “And we are exporting products that these countries need and cannot afford to cut back too much on their imports.”
Nevada had $5.67 billion in exports in 2009 compared with $6.11 billion in 2008. The state had $5.71 billion in exports in 2007.
In 2009, precious stones and metals totaled $3 billion. That was followed by ores, $509 million; electrical machinery, $479 million; toys and games (which includes slot machines) and sports equipment, $427 million; industrial machinery and computers, $337 million; optical, photo and medical equipment, $262 million; and aircraft and spacecraft parts, $103 million.
Switzerland was the No. 1 trading partner in 2009 with $2.8 billion in exports, primarily because of the gold shipments.
One has to admit it’s pretty convenient how a state leveraged to a rise in global-risk taking is at the same time hedged by massive amounts of local gold. It’s an interesting example of how even some of the hardest hit places in the U.S. had their bright sides, and that how as investors or entrepreneurs there are always opportunities if you challenge your assumptions.
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