NEW YORK, April 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. aerospace and defense sector's gross exports increased by $5 billion in 2015 and are expected to rise this year, according to a Deloitte report.
The report -- U.S. Aerospace & Defense Export Competitiveness Study -- said the $5 billion achieved in 2015 represents a 58.9 percent increase in the last five years. The increase for 2016 is expected to be 3.2 percent.
Deloitte says new defense platform products and expected foreign military sales by U.S. defense contractors are expected to contribute to 2016 increases.
"The U.S. 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 U.S. manufacturing competitiveness."
Deloitte said that in analyzing the period 2010 to 2015 it found the aerospace and defense sector accounted for 9.5 percent of total U.S. exports in 2015, with the sector's contribution increasing from 7.1 percent of total exports in 2010; the total aerospace and defense gross exports in 2015 were $143.3 billion; and China was the largest aerospace and defense export market for the U.S. in 2015, followed by the U.K. and France.
The top five U.S. states for sector exports were Washington, California, Connecticut, Texas and Georgia. They accounted for about 61 percent of the sector exports in 2015.
Deloitte said its analysis is based on historical export data for 2008 to 2015 from U.S. Census Bureau; U.N. Comtrade; the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute; and actual and projected aircraft delivery data from Boeing