Stuart Johnson, Deseret News
John Sommerfeldt applies labels to ladders at the Little Giant Ladder manufacturing plant in Springville, Utah.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The International Trade Administration says recent data shows Utah merchandise exports increased 14 percent in the first half of this year.

The administration says Utah exports have grown from $8.5 billion to $9.7 billion compared to the same period in 2011.

The increase represents a growth of twice the national average of 7 percent for the same period.

The trade administration says Utah's first half 2012 merchandise export sales increased 128 percent to Australia, 58 percent to Japan and 44 percent to Hong Kong, largely of goods from metal manufactures, computer and electronic products, chemicals, food and transportation equipment.


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