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Newest big export: Pain

Wisconsin State Roundup

November 1, 2009


Newest big export: Pain

Wisconsin’s economy is taking it on the chin from virtually all directions. Late September figures from the U.S. Census Bureau showed that international buyers are piling on—or off, as it were—as exports for the first half of the year were down by almost 22 percent over the same period a year earlier. Exports nationwide dropped by 24 percent.

The state’s largest export sector is industrial machinery—ranging from mining shovels to armored vehicles— which dropped by 24 percent, but virtually no sector was untouched. In terms of the state’s largest export markets, most destinations save for China saw significant declines.

Before the dip, Wisconsin exports had been on a tear. Exports dipped in the final quarter of 2008, but still managed a full-year record, topping $20 billion, roughly double 2003 levels.