David Huether, senior vice president of research and economics at the U.S. Travel Association, provides analysis on today's Commerce Department announcement that overall exports increased to $182.6 billion for November 2012, and that imports increased faster than exports resulting in a trade deficit of $48.7 billion:
"As the only increasing service export in November, travel led all other industries by contributing $14.1 billion in exports. And while both travel exports and imports have been increasing, the trade balance remains positive for travel at $45.2 billion through the first 11 months of 2012.
"Through November of 2012, travel exports are up 10 percent compared to 2011 – more than double the four percent increase in overall exports during the same period. The fact that travel exports increased more than twice as fast as overall goods and services exports last year shows that the travel industry is becoming an even more important generator of economic growth for our country through international trade.
"International visitors spent $153 billion in 2011 and will continue to generate more spending and quality American jobs as long as lawmakers advance policies that increase visitation. A recently released report by Oxford Economics and the U.S. Travel Association proves the travel industry is an indispensable source for quality American jobs. More than half of those employed by the travel sector earn a middle-class salary or higher."
Huether is available for further analysis and comment.
The U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $1.9 trillion in economic output and supports 14.4 million jobs. U.S. Travel's mission is to increase travel to and within the United States.