Global economy boosted Michigan's exports by $6 billion in 2011; state poised for further growth
The state of Michigan set a record for exports in 2011, a sign that the state’s economy is recovering, according to one manufacturing industry advocate.
Michigan exported $50.8 billion in exports last year, a $6 billion increase over 2010, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. The biggest winner was exports of transportation equipment, which increased by $3 billion and was up 13.8 percent from 2010 to 2011.
“Exports are a critical part of Michigan’s economy,” said Mike Johnston, vice president of Global Affairs for the Michigan Manufacturers Association. “Our market is not down the street or around the corner. A manufacturing economy is truly a global economy. Manufacturers complete globally. Increased exports are a good measure of how the Michigan economy is doing.”
James Hohman, a fiscal policy analyst with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said the largest growth in exports to foreign countries was Mexico and China.
Mexico increased by $1.5 billion from 2010 to 2011.
Michigan exports to China increased by $506 million from 2010 to 2011, an increase of 23.2 percent. Hohman said exports to China have grown by 1,169 percent since 2000.
“Mexico and China have become major markets for Michigan goods, showing they ought not be the scapegoat for the state’s decade-long recession,” Hohman wrote in an email. “Growing exports have been the lone bright spot in Michigan’s decade-long recession and are growing even more now that the recession is over.”