What are the forces moving the Minnesota economy? Adam Belz tries to identify the trends and show the connections between Minnesota and the larger U.S. and global economies. You can connect with him on Twitter: @adambelz

Minnesota exports picked up pace in fourth quarter, grew 6 percent

Posted by: Adam Belz under Business trends, Economics Updated: March 18, 2014 - 11:32 AM

Minnesota exports of manufactured, agricultural and mining products grew to $5.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, a 6 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.

Minnesota was one of 19 states that grew exports more than 5 percent in the quarter, and the state’s export growth bettered overall national growth in the quarter of 4 percent.

“This 6 percent growth was really driven by two markets – China and Mexico,” said Kathleen Motzenbecker, director of the Minnesota Trade Office.

Exports to China – Minnesota’s second-largest market – grew 35 percent to $743 million, driven by medical devices, plastics and recycling and ores, slag and ash.

Sales in Mexico climbed 32 percent to $439 million.

The overall uptick in fourth quarter exports – which do not include exports of services -- was a reversal of a two-year trend of flat or minimal growth.

Manufactured exports, which accounted for $5 billion in state sales during the fourth quarter, grew 7 percent from the same period a year ago, compared with 3 percent growth for manufactured exports nationally.

“I’m always pleased when I see the needle going in the upwards direction,” Motzenbecker said.

Iowa and Wisconsin exports were flat in the fourth quarter, North Dakota's fell 15 percent, South Dakota's fell 6 percent, Michigan and Indiana exports fell slightly, and Illinois exports grew 11 percent.

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