Metro Milwaukee export growth ahead of other Midwest metros in Q1

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Metro Milwaukee exports topped more than $2 billion in the first quarter of the year, a 15.7% increase from the prior year that outpaced most other major Midwestern Metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

Nationally, total exports increased 18.2% in the first quarter and 19.3% for metro areas. Only St. Louis, up 27.6%, and Chicago, up 26.7%, saw stronger export growth in the Midwest. Other Midwestern metros included in the Census data include Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Indianapolis, Cleveland, Peoria, Kansas City, and Columbus, Ohio.

Combined, the 10 metros in the data exported $45.4 billion in goods in the first quarter, an 11.2% increase.

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Milwaukee’s 15.7% increase was the metro area’s best relative performance since the first quarter of 2020 when it’s 6.9% increase was the best in the region.

Looking at the past 12 months of data, Milwaukee still holds up well with a 15.1% increase compared to the 12 months ending in the first quarter of 2021. Exports for the 10 Midwest metros are up 21.3% over that period and Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Indianapolis, Cleveland and St. Louis have all outpaced Milwaukee.

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