EXPORTS GAIN IN 1ST HALF

NEW YORK — First-half exports of sporting goods from the U.S. increased moderately this year, compared with the same period in 1995.
The total value of exported athletic footwear and sports equipment was $1.1 billion — a 6.4 percent increase compared with the first half of 1995, according to the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association’s analysis of data from the U.S. Commerce Department.
This followed a 22.5 percent hike in the first half of 1995 over the same period a year ago.
This year’s slowdown in growth was attributed partly to fluctuations in international currencies, the SGMA said. The fact that the U.S. dollar has strengthened in the past year against the Japanese yen, the German mark and the British pound has deterred sales of sporting goods exported to those countries from the U.S., said Mike May, director of statistics for the SGMA.
Slowdowns in exports of bowling equipment and roller skates — two categories that were booming last year, especially in the Far East — also impacted growth, he said.
For the first half of this year, bowling equipment declined by more than 33 percent — the largest decrease in any category. During the first six months of 1995, bowling equipment accounted for $185 million in exports — a 17 percent increase compared with the same period in 1994.
Even though exports of roller skates increased to $33.4 million — a 20 percent gain — the growth slowed compared with the previous year. For the first six months of 1995, exports of roller skates jumped to $27.8 million — a 243 percent hike compared with the first half of 1994.
Here’s how exports of sporting goods measured up compared with last year.

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