PHOENIX — As financial markets around the world are absorbing the meaning of the vote by Britain to leave the European Union, here’s some of what the United Kingdom means to Arizona economically.
Arizona exported $1.1 billion in goods to the United Kingdom last year, enough to make it Arizona’s fourth-largest trade partner by exports, according to figures tracked by the International Trade Administration within the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Sixteen states export more to the U.K. than Arizona does, as does Puerto Rico.
Arizona also imported $670 million worth of goods from the U.K. last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That ranked seventh among Arizona’s import partners.
Transportation equipment, which usually means the aerospace industry in Arizona, accounted for $459 million of the state’s exports to the U.K. Arizona also shipped $198 million in chemicals and $159 million in computer and electronic equipment there last year.
As of 2013, there were 12,200 workers in Arizona employed by U.K.-based companies, according to the latest available figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That was second in the state only to the 14,300 jobs tied to Canadian-controlled companies.
Apart from the sale of goods and services, Arizona and the U.K. have significant tourism ties.
Travel-industry analyst Henry Harteveldt of Atmosphere Research in San Francisco said the weak British pound and euro may keep tourists from making a trip to the United States or force them to spend less on trips they already have planned. That includes vacation and convention travel to metro Phoenix.
“There may be some decline in tourism,” he said. “It may not hit over the summer because summertime is off-peak, but it may affect inbound business in the fall and winter season and spring.”
Vacationers and conventioneers who do come might cut back by shortening their trips or eating out and shopping less, he said.
The impact on tourism will be more dramatic, of course, if Britain’s exit from the EU plunges that country and others into a slowdown or recession.
“The economic environment in the U.S. has already been very uneven; in some places very soft, in some areas strong,” Harteveldt said. “Same thing across Europe.”