U.S. exports increase 1.8% to $163 billion in December
The Commerce Department's December 2010 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report, released Friday, showed that U.S. exports in December increased 1.8 percent from November to $163 billion.
U.S. imports of goods and services increased 2.6 percent to $203.5 billion, with the overall trade deficit growing by 5.9 percent in December to $40.6 billion.
After dropping 14.6 percent in 2009, exports grew 16.6 percent in 2010, compared with an average annual rise of 11.2 percent during 2002-2008. Exports of goods and services in 2010 reached $1.83 trillion, the second-highest annual total on record and the largest year-to-year percent change in more than 20 years. In 2010, exports contributed to nearly half of the 2.9 percentage point growth in real GDP, the Commerce Department noted.
'The U.S. is the largest exporter of services in the world, and services exports reached a record surplus last year,' said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, in a statement. 'Exports are leading the U.S. economic recovery and helping to create high-quality jobs for the American people.'
This week, Locke will initiate a multi-city, interagency outreach tour that will connect small- and medium-sized businesses with the export resources. 'Winning the future means helping more American businesses become competitive in markets abroad, and this administration is committed to doing just that,' he said. ' Chris Gillis