ST. PAUL (AP) -- Economists are encouraged by Minnesota's strong showing in the export market during the final quarter of 2010.

Manufacturing exports hit a record quarterly high of $4.6 billion in the final three months of the year. The state Department of Employment and Economic Development report shows exports increased 17 percent to $17.2 billion for the year, slightly less than a record $17.3 billion set in 2008.

Fourth quarter exports were led by computers and electronics at nearly $2 billion, followed by machinery and transportation equipment. The quarterly performance beat the previous high of $4.5 billion in the third quarter of 2008.   Minnesota's larger customers include Canada and China.

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