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Arizona's exports reaching record levels
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Arizona’s exports reaching record levels

PHOENIX — Arizona’s economy continues to grow, with exports reaching record levels.

In 2014, Arizona’s exports grew by 8.8 percent over the previous year, according to data from the U.S. Commercial Service in Arizona.

“Arizona actually had a banner year in 2014,” said Kristian Richardson, director of the U.S. Commercial Service Arizona.

The nearly 9 percent increase brought an addition $1.7 billion into Arizona’s economy as the state’s exports reached $21.1 billion in total value.

Products that saw the greatest growth in export included minerals and ores, transportation equipment and oil and gas, according to the data. Semiconductor parts continue to make up the largest chunk of Arizona’s exports, but even a decline over the past few years has not stopped the state from posting positive growth overall.

Richardson said the state’s rate of export growth was strong to enough to outpace several nearby states including Colorado, Nevada and Utah, all of which saw reduction in their exports for 2014.

“Utah, for example, had over (sic) 20 percent decrease in its exports from 2013 to 2014,” he said.

Richardson attributes a large part of the state’s growth due to expanding trade relations with Mexico in which Arizona sent $8.6 billion of goods in 2014, a considerable bounce back from a lull in trade with Mexico in 2010, he said.

“During the Great Recession, trade with Mexico was down significantly. It was only $5.1 billion,” Richardson said. “At the time and continuing through today, Mexico was then and remains today to be Arizona’s number one trading partner on a three to one margin…but from 2010 to today in 2015, exports from Arizona to Mexico have almost doubled.”

Arizona’s growth in exports mirrors an overall growth in U.S. exports in 2014. Both the U.S. and Arizona have also seen export growth for five consecutive years, according to Richardson.