US aero exports off 17 percent amid slump


US exports of aerospace products plunged 17 percent this year to $78.9 billion amid slowing sales growth overall, the industry’s chief trade association said.

Civil exports fell 16%, while military-related exports dropped 23% from the year before, the Aerospace Industries Association said, citing preliminary US Commerce Department figures.

Overall, sales next year are projected to reach $214.4 billion, “a very modest increase,” said Marion Blakey, head of the industry group.

For 2011, “we’re talking about a possible shallow, relatively short-lived, dip in sales figures,” she told the annual Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington.

International trade of aerospace products stalled in 2008 and slipped further in 2009, the industry group said in its annual year-end review and forecast.

In total, US trade in aerospace products including civil and military aircraft, missiles and satellites generated a net inflow of $53.9 billion, the figures showed.

The resulting surplus was 6% lower than the 2008 surplus, still enough to have a positive impact on the US trade balance, the association said.

Top US aerospace exporters include Lockheed Martin Corp, Boeing Co, Northrop Grumman Corp and Raytheon Co.