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Stronger Japanese economy boosts district manufactured exports

October 1, 1996


Rob Grunewald Associate Editor, Statistics
Stronger Japanese economy boosts district manufactured exports

Improvement in the Japanese economy boosted manufactured exports from district states in 1995, while Canada remained the top export destination. Overall, manufactured exports increased 13 percent in 1995, close to the previous eight-year trend.

Exports to Asia strengthen

As the Japanese economy strengthened over the past year, manufactured exports to Japan increased above trend in district states for 1995. Although Japan represents only 8.4 percent of the region's total manufactured exports, gains in 1995 meant $241 million in new exports for district states.

Overall, exports to other parts of Asia showed steady growth. Manufactured exports to newly industrialized countries in Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, doubled in South Dakota and Montana, which primarily sent machinery and computer equipment, chemicals and allied products, and electrical equipment. But North Dakota exports to those countries decreased 15 percent last year.

Canada remains top destination

Canada remains the top destination for manufactured exports in all district states. In 1995, one-third of the $18.4 billion of manufactured exports from district states went to Canada. While exports to Canada dropped slightly in North and South Dakota, they increased 20 percent in Wisconsin.

Exports to Europe, the second largest manufactured export destination, grew last year in all states near or above trend, except Montana where they decreased 9 percent.

Trade with Mexico, which represents under 3 percent of district exports, increased 55 percent in Montana and 140 percent in North Dakota in 1995, making Mexico that state's third largest manufactured export destination. At the same time exports from Minnesota decreased 35 percent and from Wisconsin, 25 percent.

Machinery and computer equipment remains largest export industry

Machinery and computer equipment, the largest export industry in the district, grew 55 percent in South Dakota and 45 percent in Montana in 1995. Food and kindred products increased faster than trend in all states, except Minnesota where they decreased 2 percent.

The most significant gains were made in chemicals and allied products, which nearly tripled in North Dakota and increased almost 70 percent in Montana. These products were largely bound for Canada and Asia.