Massachusetts Export Center



New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce

SouthCoast Leads the State in Export Growth


March-April 2008 Newsletter
By Paula Murphy, Director
Massachusetts Export Center

The South Coast leads the state of Massachusetts for export growth according to data recently released by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. The Metropolitan Export Data Series classifies merchandise export values for 369 metropolitan areas in the U.S. The new data series features six metropolitan areas in Massachusetts and includes export data for 2005 and 2006. While Census publishes export data annually on a state-by-state basis, the metropolitan export data series outlines the export performance of specific municipal areas within each state. The information helps to pinpoint export trends at a local level. Below are the six Massachusetts metropolitan areas included in the series, along with their ranking and export performance for 2006:

Massachusetts exports


For the purposes of the Metropolitan Export Data Series, the Census Bureau groups the New Bedford and Fall River metropolitan areas with the Providence metropolitan area, which includes the entire state of Rhode Island. In 2006, exports from the New Bedford-Fall River-Providence metropolitan corridor amounted to over $3 billion, an increase of 23% over 2005. Massachusetts’ overall export growth for the same time period was 9%. When the state of Rhode Island is backed out of the equation, however, the South Coast’s export performance is even more impressive. The South Coast’s export base amounts to the majority of exports in the entire metropolitan statistical area at 52% for 2005 and 53% for 2006. Moreover, the 25% export growth of the South Coast region between 2005 and 2006 outpaced the overall metropolitan statistical area by over two percent. Below is the export data as isolated to the South Coast only:

SouthCoast exports


The table below outlines the top export markets for the entire metropolitan statistical region in 2006:

New Bedford/Fall River exports


The weak dollar makes U.S. exports highly competitive overseas, and as such, exports are poised to grow even more in the coming year. This means that now is an excellent time for businesses to pursue export opportunities! South Coast businesses seeking to begin exporting or expand their current export operations have access to a wealth of resources.

The New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce hosts the South Coast regional office for the Massachusetts Export Center, part of the state’s Small Business Development Center Network. The Massachusetts Export Center provides a full range of export development services to companies in the region, including:

     • Export counseling & technical assistance
     • International market research & assessment
     • International business development
     • Export training

For further information, call the Export Center’s office at the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce at (508) 999-1388 or visit their web site at



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