Manufactured exports from Ninth District states continued to grow
at a strong pace in 1996, with increases ranging from 7 percent
in Wisconsin to 55 percent in Montana. High technology companies
fared well among industries that ship products to other countries.
Machinery and computer equipment manufacturers represent the largest
export industry, by producing about one-third of all district manufactured
exports. Machinery and computer equipment is the top category in
all district states except for Montana, where exports from primary
metal industries experienced strong growth in 1996.
Measuring instruments and medical goods and electrical equipment
are among the top six industries in four district states. These
numbers indicate that the region is increasingly specializing in
industries with a high technology component, supported by a workforce
trained in computers, robotics, engineering and other high-skill
Overall, Montana and North Dakota exports grew faster than the
previous nine-year trend (the time from which the accompanying data
was available), by 55 percent and 28 percent respectively, while
Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin grew between 6 percent and
9 percent, somewhat slower than the previous nine years.
Exports to Canada and Europe, the district's two largest destinations,
grew above the previous nine-year trend in Montana and North Dakota,
while all states experienced significant increases to some emerging
countries. Areas of growth that nearly doubled or more include exports
- Montana to Mexico and the Pacific Islands,
- North Dakota to Africa and the Pacific Islands,
- South Dakota to Southeast Asia and Central America, and
- Wisconsin to the Middle East.
Export industries have a strong potential for expansion in developing
countries since district companies are just beginning to send
products to these areas. Nevertheless, it appears that Canada
and Europe will remain the backbone for Ninth District exports.