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Utah exported $17.4 billion in goods in 2023, contributing over $8.0 billion to the state’s GDP

Salt Lake City — Utah’s international goods exports in 2023 totaled $17.4 billion, generating over $4.0 billion in earnings and 71,891 jobs, according to a report released this week by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. These exports contributed over $8.0 billion to the state’s gross domestic product (GDP) and $16.7 billion to the state’s gross output. The impact of these exports represented 2.6% of total earnings in the state, 3.0% of total employment, 2.9% of total GDP, and 3.6% of gross output.

“Utah’s international goods exports boost earnings, jobs, output, and GDP across the state and are a critical source of outside dollars flowing into our economy,” said Natalie Gochnour, director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. “As Utah continues to grow and diversify, our state’s exports will play a key role in helping our economy remain dynamic and resilient.”

Key findings from the report include the following:

Economic impact – Utah exports in 2023 created an estimated $8.0 billion in GDP, $4.0 billion in earnings, $16.7 billion in output, and 71,891 jobs. These impacts represent 2.9% of GDP, 2.6% of earnings, 3.6% of output, and 3.0% of total employment in Utah.

Utah exports – Utah’s merchandise exports tallied $17.4 billion in 2023 and shipped to 200 countries. The state’s 2023 exports increased $796 million over 2022, a 4.8% increase.

Utah’s largest trading partners – The United Kingdom, by far, received the largest value of Utah exports at $7.2 billion in 2023 or 41.2%. Approximately $6.8 billion of the exports to the UK stem from unwrought gold. Canada at $1.7 billion, Mexico at $1.3 billion, China at $1.2 billion, and Japan at $0.8 billion round out Utah’s top five trading partners.

Primary metals – Primary metal manufacturing contributed 41.4% of Utah’s total exports and $7.2 billion in value, the largest share of any export. Computer and electronic products came in a distant second largest export at $2.1 billion (11.9%), followed by chemicals at $1.5 billion (8.6%).

Gold serves primary role –Unwrought gold, almost exclusively exported to the United Kingdom, represented 39.9% of all Utah exports. Utah export values rise and fall because of variations in the volume of gold exported and the price of gold.

Utah export growth lagged the nation –Over the last decade (2013 to 2023), Utah exports increased by 7.9%, compared with a national increase of 27.9%.

Utah imports – Utah’s merchandise imports totaled $18.6 billion in 2023 and shipped from 151 countries. This led to a goods trade deficit of $1.2 billion.

“Trade is vital to both the U.S. and Utah economy. The exchange of goods and services across borders not only shapes a country’s economic landscape but also strengthens our national and global security,” said Jonathan Freedman, president and CEO of World Trade Center Utah. “When commerce is mutually beneficial, it binds both companies and nations together.”

The full report is now available online.

Contact:              Nick Thiriot, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, 801-842-9150, [email protected]