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Export growth boosts metro Knoxville economy

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Exports are playing a significant role in Knoxville’s continuing economic recovery, according to a new Brookings Institution report
The value of the metro area’s exports last year totaled $4.29 billion, or 12.7 percent of the region’s total output, according to a the “Export Nation 2013” report released this week.
Motor vehicle parts and miscellaneous fabricated metal products were two largest export sectors at 10. 5 percent and 10.3 percent, respectively, of the region’s export total.
The next largest export sectors were precision instruments, financial services and management & consulting, all at slightly more than 3 percent of the region’s total.
Knoxville ranked 73rd out of the 100 largest metro areas in total value of exports. However, Knoxville’s export growth in the last three years ranked among the best in the country, according to Brookings.
Knoxville’s 11 percent export growth from 2009-2012 ranked 13th nationally.
“Exports have been a critical driver of the post-recession recovery in the U.S. and its metro areas,” said Brad McDearman, director of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Export Initiative and co-author of the report. “Metro leaders that make boosting exports an economic development priority are better positioning their regions for success in the more globally-connected 21st century economy.”
Click here for the full Brookings report.