Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that Missouri exports were up six percent through the first two quarters of 2012 as compared to the first two quarters of 2011, a year in which Missouri set a state record for export sales revenue. Export revenues for the first six months of 2012 have already reached $7.5 billion. At the current rate of growth, the state is projected to reach nearly $15 billion in annual export sales revenue, surpassing 2011's record total of $14.1 billion.
"Selling more Missouri-made goods overseas means more jobs here at home," Gov. Nixon said. "Through the first two quarters of 2012, we are on pace to break last year's record of $14.1 billion in export sales revenue. I commend the hard work of Missouri farmers, businesses and entrepreneurs for their continued success in increasing Missouri exports to new record levels."
Canada, Mexico and China remain Missouri's largest export markets. Top exported Missouri commodities include vehicles, industrial equipment and electric machinery.
"My administration is committed to continuing to grow this critical sector of our economy by helping Missouri farmers, businesses and entrepreneurs cut through the international red tape and reach new customers in new countries," Gov. Nixon said. "Our important work in this area continues to pay off with more Missouri businesses selling their goods abroad while creating jobs right here in the Show-Me State."
Last October, the Governor led a delegation of more than 60 Missouri business and agricultural leaders to China to close a series of agreements to sell $4.6 billion in Missouri goods to Chinese consumers - increasing Missouri's exports to China by more than $1 billion over the next three years. Additionally, the Governor led an official trade mission to Brazil in April of this year, signing the state's first-ever trade agreement with the state of Sao Paulo, the financial capital of one of the world's fastest-growing economies.
Meanwhile, Missouri's unemployment rate of 7.2 percent, which has fallen 2.5 percentage points since its recessionary peak, remained below the national unemployment rate for the 35th straight month. In addition, Missouri employers have created nearly 7,000 new jobs thus far in 2012, after adding 21,386 in 2011.