This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah's merchandise exports increased 14 percent in the first half of 2012, compared with the same period a year ago, according to the International Trade Administration.

Exports fgrew from $8.5 billion in the first half of 2011 to $9.7 billion this year.

Utah's results topped the 7 percent national average for the same period, the ITA said.

"Exports are an increasingly important part of Utah's economic recovery as local businesses both big and small start to look beyond our borders to increase their customer base," Fransisco Sanchez, under secretary of international trade at the U.S. Department of Commerce, said in a statement.

The ITA noted that Utah's first-half 2012 merchandise export sales outpaced the 2011 figures to many top destinations, including Australia, up 128 percent; Japan, up 58 percent; Hong Kong, up 44 percent; Netherlands, up 41 percent; and Canada, up 33 percent.

"The continued growth in Utah's exports shows that even in these challenging economic times, many companies statewide are working to enhance their competitiveness and bottom line by making new sales abroad," said Dave Ficus, director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Utah.

Key merchandise exports included primary metals, computer and electronic products, chemicals, food and transportation equipment.