SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah merchandise exports have jumped 37 percent in 2011 compared with year earlier, surpassing the national export growth rate that year of 16 percent. Data released Thursday by the federal International Trade Administration show Utah’s 2011 exports totaled $18.9 billion, up from the previous year’s total of $13.8 billion. Federal officials say exports are increasingly important because 85 percent of the world’s economic growth in the next 5 years is expected to happen outside the U.S. The top items being sent out of the state include computer and electronic products, chemicals and transportation equipment. Demand for Utah exports grew the most in Thailand, where sales were up 311 percent. Hong Kong, Australia and the United Kingdom are also buying more from the state.
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