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Deloitte study: Aerospace and defense sector largest contributor to US exports

Sector exports expected to increase by 3.2 percent in 2016

NEW YORK, April 13, 2016 — Deloitte’s "US aerospace & defense export competitiveness study" found that the US aerospace and defense sector’s gross exports increased by $5 billion in 2015, a 58.9 percent increase in the last five years.

Looking forward, the US aerospace and defense sector’s gross exports are expected to increase by 3.2 percent in 2016. This is largely due to an increased pipeline of defense platform products announced and expected for foreign military sales by US defense contractors.

“The US aerospace and defense sector was the largest contributor to America’s net exports during the 2010 to 2015 period, making it one of the few domestic industrial sectors with a positive trade balance,” said Tom Captain, vice chairman, Deloitte LLP, and aerospace and defense sector leader. “The sector is also a top employer, taxpayer, and contributor to the nation’s gross domestic product, making it key to US manufacturing competitiveness.”

During the 2010 to 2015 period analyzed in the survey, the US aerospace and defense sector was responsible for the following:

  • Sector accounted for 9.5 percent of total US exports in 2015, with the sector’s contribution increasing from 7.1 percent of total exports in 2010.
  • US accounted for 33 percent of global defense exports in 2015.
  • Total aerospace and defense gross exports in 2015 were $143.3 billion, a significant increase of 58.9 percent over the last five years.
  • China was the largest aerospace and defense export market for the US in 2015, followed by the UK and France.

The top five exporting states–Washington, California, Connecticut, Texas, and Georgia–accounted for about 61 percent of the total aerospace and defense sector exports in 2015. Washington state also showed a strong 109.4 percent increase in exports in 2015 compared to 2010 as the state that continues to have the largest presence in the commercial aircraft manufacturing subsector. 

About Deloitte’s Aerospace and Defense Practice
Deloitte's aerospace and defense sector focuses on top issues facing the industry. Deloitte aerospace and defense practitioners have deep industry experience and are actively involved in various segments of the industry, including: M&A, advanced technology programs, airplane program launches, and acquisition reform and economic assistance packages. For more information about Deloitte’s aerospace & defense group, please visit:

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500. Our people work across more than 20 industry sectors to deliver measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to make their most challenging business decisions with confidence, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society.

About the Study
Deloitte's “US aerospace and defense export study” analyzes the export competitiveness of the US aerospace and defense sector over the last five years. The primary focus of the study is to analyze growth trends in US aerospace and defense sector exports and its key trading partners, and to provide an outlook for the future. The study also details these exports by state. Deloitte analysis is based on historical export data (2008 to 2015) from US Census Bureau; UN Comtrade; the US Bureau of Labor Statistics; the US Bureau of Economic Analysis; the US Office of Personnel Management; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI); as well as actual and projected aircraft delivery data (2008 to 2016 E) from The Boeing Company

Media contact:

Courtney Flaherty
Public Relations
+1 203 905 2708

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