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State exports grow by $1 billion in 2008

Minnesota manufactured exports reached a record $17.3 billion last year, up from $16.2 billion in 2007. State exports grew 6.2 percent last year, while overall U.S. manufactured exports increased 9.8 percent.

A slowing global economy affected state exports in the fourth quarter of 2008. Minnesota manufactured exports in the quarter were $4.2 billion, a decline of $126 million (2.9 percent) from the same quarter a year ago. U.S. manufactured exports declined 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

"The manufactured export market remains a strong segment of the state economy," said Dan McElroy, commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. "Even with the economic slowdown, six of the state's largest markets increased their exports during the fourth quarter."