Michigan’s recent economic revival of late can be traced in part to two little-known sources – China and Saudi Arabia.
Michigan’s international exports increased 36.3 percent from 2009 to 2010, the third-largest increase in the nation, according to James Hohman, a fiscal policy expert at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Michigan’s international exports increased from $32.7 billion in 2009 to $44.5 billion in 2010, bringing it back up to 2008 levels when the state had $45.1 billion in exports.
“It shows Michigan can compete and win in the global market place,” Hohman said.
Canada ($21.7 billion) and Mexico ($7.4 billion) were the leading markets for Michigan products. But China was third at $2.2 billion.
And Saudi Arabia had $1 billion from Michigan in 2010, up from $494 million in 2009. Hohman said exports to Saudi Arabia were nearly all in transportation equipment.
Exports make up 12 percent of the state’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is the market value of all goods and services produced by a state. Michigan is the only state in the country to have experienced negative GDP growth from 1999 to 2009. Hohman said Michigan’s GDP data for 2010 hasn’t been released yet.