Hotbed for exports is…Wichita?

The Financial Times reports that according to a Brookings Institution study, Wichita has the highest percentage of exports of any metropolitan region in the country:

Thanks to a cluster of aircraft manufacturers such as Learjet, Cessna and Hawker Beechcraft, the economic focus of Wichita – population 366,000 – is very different from the emphasis on services and consumer demand typical of 21st century America. According to a study published late last month by the Brookings Institution, a Washington think-tank, nearly 28 per cent of the city’s gross metropolitan product is sold abroad. That makes it the most export-oriented in the country, just ahead of Portland, Oregon – noted for its computer and electronics companies – and San Jose in California’s Silicon Valley.

Wichita is not who I would think is leading this list. But the article goes on to say that Wichita and some other places have figured out how to move beyond two lagging sectors of the economy, consumer goods and housing, to move forward. For the rest of the country’s economy to move forward, they may have to follow Wichita’s model.

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