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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times reporter Sharon Chan.

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February 14, 2007 2:06 PM

Seattle deficit turns to surplus -- the Boeing effect

Posted by Kristi Heim

Seattle had the largest trade surplus of any city in the U.S. last year, according to a World City study released today based on new census figures.

Seattle carried a $10.6 billion trade surplus in 2006. The year before, the city had a trade deficit of $2.9 billion. Guess what happened in between? Boeing sold a lot of planes.

This news comes on the heels of a report showing the U.S. trade deficit hit a record high for the fifth year in a row. Oil imports and Chinese goods contributed to the widening gap. The U.S. trade deficit grew 6.5 percent to an all-time high of $767 billion, according to the Commerce Department.

Here in Seattle, aircraft and aircraft parts made up more than half of the total $65 billion in exports last year. Seattle's international trade grew more than 19 percent to almost $120 billion, outpacing the 12 percent growth of the U.S. as a whole.

Other figures point to the importance of the region's trade relations with Asia. The volume of trade with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and South Korea rose significantly.

Canada and China, Seattle's top two trading partners, accounted for more than 40 percent of the total trade. Twenty countries did more than $1 million in trade with Seattle in 2006.

By the way, Seattle's top ten exports were aircraft, aircraft parts, computer chips, corn, soybeans, oil, computers, frozen fish, motor vehicles for transport and medical technology. Not sure where Microsoft software fits in, since it's not a computer or a computer chip.

The top ten imports were crude oil from petroleum, passenger vehicles, aircraft parts, petroleum gas, parts for arcade games, wood, color TVs and computer monitors, leather footwear and internal combustion engines.

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