U.S. merchandise exports for the first half of 2013 totaled a record $781 billion, up $8 billion from the same period last year, the Commerce Department announced Friday.
Although exports continue to reach new highs, the pace of growth is slowing down from 2010 and 2011 when there was pent up demand after the recession and exports were at a low base.
The value of exports grew 1 percent in the first six months compared to 6.4 percent in 2012 from the first half of 2011, which was up 14.5 percent from the same period in 2010.
Seventeen states set export records for the January-to-June period, including Texas, New York, Washington, Michigan and Louisiana, the Commerce Department said.
Merchandise exports from Texas grew the most in dollar terms, rising $4.3 billion to $134.4 billion.
U.S. exports of goods and services reached an all-time him for June at $191.2 billion, with exports of goods reaching a record $134 billion.
Administration officials are crediting the President's National Export Initiative for the strength of the U.S. export sector. - Eric Kulisch