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Economic Briefing: U.S. International Trade in 2011

With today’s release of trade data for December, we now have the complete picture of exports and imports for 2011. Exports continued to show strong growth, climbing 14.5 percent in 2011. Along with the 16.7 percent increase in 2010, this means that exports have increased more than one-third (33.5 percent to be precise) over the last two years, a pace that slightly exceeds that needed to achieve the National Export Initiative goal of doubling exports by 2014.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services in December 2011

U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson issued the following statement today on the release of 2011 international trade numbers and the December 2011 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that the U.S. remains on course to reach President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI) goal of doubling exports by the end of 2014. U.S.

Economic Indicator: Private Sector Employment up 257,000 in January 2012

Some good news on the employment front! The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released their January 2012 report on the employment situation showing private sector employment increased 257,000 -- the largest increase since April 2011 (264,000). In addition, private sector employment gains were revised upward by 58,000 in November and 8,000 in December. Over the past 23 months, the private sector has added jobs every month for a total of nearly 3.7 million jobs.

Economic Indicator: Private Construction Spending up in 2011

Like many other economic indicators (such as GDP, Employment, and Personal Income) construction spending finished the year on an upward trend as we move into 2012. Total construction spending in December 2011 was $816.4 billion at a seasonally adjusted annual rate, up 1.5 percent from the revised November 2011 estimate and up 4.3 percent from December 2010. Further, construction spending grew each of the last five months in 2011.

Economic Indicator: A Look at Personal Income in 2010-11

Personal income ended the year on a positive note-increasing 0.5 percent in December, its largest gain since February 2011.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Department Chief Economist Mark Doms on Personal Income and Outlays in December 2011

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released data on personal income and outlays for December 2011. Personal income rose 0.5 percent in December, significantly higher than the 0.1 percent rise in November and exceeding private-sector forecasts of a 0.4 percent increase. Wages and salaries accounted for nearly half the increase with other components rising as well. Real consumer spending edged down 0.1% in December.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson on the Advance Estimate of Gross Domestic Product in the Fourth Quarter 2011

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis today released the advance estimate of gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter of 2011. Real GDP rose 2.8 percent at an annual rate, up from 1.8 percent in the third quarter. Real GDP for 2011 overall grew 1.7 percent. The increase in real GDP reflected growth across several key economic sectors. Real exports of goods and services increased 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter, the same increase as in the third.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson on U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services in November 2011

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce John E. Bryson issued the statement below on the release of the November 2011 U.S. International Trade in Goods and Services report by the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Today’s report showed that U.S. exports of goods and services in November 2011 decreased 0.9 percent from October 2011 to $177.8 billion, with this month’s exports of consumer goods ($15.7 billion) the highest on record. U.S. imports of goods and services increased by 1.3 percent to reach $225.6 billion, causing the U.S.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson on Retail Sales in 2011

WASHINGTON – The Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau today released retail sales data for December and full year 2011. The data reflects strong growth last year, compared to 2010, increasing 7.7 percent. Excluding automobiles, full year 2011 retail sales grew 7.3 percent.

In the month of December 2011, retail sales increased 0.1 percent from November and 6.5 percent from December 2010. Excluding autos, December 2011 sales declined 0.2 percent from November but grew 6.0 percent from December 2010.

Commerce Department Report Provides Roadmap for Competitiveness

Department also launches interactive report at www.commerce.gov/competes to highlight study’s findings and work already underway

WASHINGTON – The U.S Department of Commerce today delivered to Congress a comprehensive report on “The Competitiveness and Innovative Capacity of the United States.” The report serves as a call to arms, highlighting bipartisan priorities to sustain and promote American innovation and economic competitiveness.

The report makes three important findings:

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