ST. PAUL  (AP) - Minnesota's exports reached a first-quarter record of $4.9 billion, but growth has been slowed by economies in Asia and a European debt crisis.

The Department of Employment and Economic Development says growth in the quarter is just 2 percent compared to the same period a year ago. It compares with a U.S. growth rate of 9 percent.

Manufacturing accounts for the biggest chunk of exports during the quarter, with $4.5 billion in sales. Asia is Minnesota's biggest customer, accounting for 35 percent of all sales, followed by North America and the European Union.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says state exports to Asia were flat at $1.7 billion.

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