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Utah exports buck trend, hold steady

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah companies exported more than $10.3 billion in 2009, equal to that of 2008, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. And that's at a time when exports saw double-digit decreases nationally.

Some Western states were down 24 percent to 54 percent. The average loss for all states was 19.5 percent, with 12 states declining more than 25 percent.

According to a release by the Governor's Office of Economic Development, Utah is the state best poised to lead the export recovery called for by President Barack Obama, who wants a doubling of exports over the next five years.

"Utah is poised to lead the nation in export growth because of the sound business practices and innovative products of the state's business community," said Spencer Eccles, GOED executive director. "Utah's competitive operating costs and focus on targeted industry clusters have shown consistent job growth despite the national downturn and many of those jobs we have added are in companies that export."

December 2009 was the largest single export month on record, the release said.