U.S. Exports Reach Record High, Boost Economic Recovery
By MacKenzie C. Babb
Washington - U.S. exports of goods and services reached a record high of more than $180 billion in September, providing a much-needed boost to the world's largest economy as it recovers from recession.
"Exports continue to be a bright spot, powering U.S. growth," Acting Deputy Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank said November 10. She spoke following the release of the September U.S. International Trade report by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
The report showed exports of goods in September totaled $129.3 billion, the highest on record and a $2.6 billion increase from August. This growth was powered by exports in both industrial supplies and materials, coming in at $44.4 billion, and consumer goods, adding $15.4 billion.
The bureaus reported imports of goods increased only $600 million to $188.2 billion from August, causing the goods deficit to decrease a full $2 billion to $58.9 billion.
"Small- and medium-sized businesses are a major contributor to the increase in U.S. exports, helping put us on track to exceed the president's goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014," Blank said.
According to the report, small and medium-sized businesses raised their share of overall U.S. goods exports from 27 percent in 2002 to 33 percent in 2009 - a 6 percentage point increase over seven years.
Blank said President Obama's administration is focused on "continuing to find new ways to help smaller firms sell their products and services abroad."
U.S. services imports and exports figures remained virtually unchanged, with exports falling $0.1 billion to $51.1 billion and imports increasing by $0.1 billion to $35.3 billion.
Commerce Secretary John Bryson is in Honolulu to take part in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Established in 1989, APEC has become the premier economic forum in the Asia-Pacific region.
The group is made up of 21 member economies from around the Pacific Rim that account for 56 percent of the world's gross domestic product and 43 percent of world trade volumes, according to the Commerce Department. The department said APEC members will work in Honolulu not only to advance free and open trade in the region, but also to enhance trade opportunities in the Asia Pacific for small and medium-sized firms.
This year's meeting is hosted by President Obama, who will attend the leaders' meeting November 12-13 ahead of holding a series of bilateral meetings with leaders from across the region.
(This is a product of the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State.)