This is down slightly from the 46.3% reported in 2010 and the 46.6% posted in 2009, and significantly below the 47.9% recorded in 2008 according to research published by S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The report also showed that in 2011, S&P 500 issues paid more income tax to foreign countries than to the US government. Some 45.3% of all income taxes paid by US companies went to Washington in 2011 compared with 54.7% paid abroad.
According to the report sales to European countries fell to 11.1% of all S&P 500 sales in 2011 from 13.5% in 2010, with sales to the United Kingdom increasing to 2.4% from 1.4% in 2010.
European sales excluding the UK fell to 8.7% in 2011, from 12% in 2010. This was a result of the impact the European recession is having on the US, according to Howard Silverblatt, S&P Dow Jones Indices’ senior index analyst and author of the report.
On a country-by-country basis, Canada reversed its 2010 decline and accounted for 9.3% of all 2011 foreign sales, compared to 4.1% in 2010 and 7.4% in 2009. Japan improved to 0.72% of all sales from 0.51% in 2010, which was substantially down from 1.52% in 2009.
The report showed IT sales continued to dominate with over 56.3% of its declared sales coming from outside of the US, while financials declined to 34.7% in 2011 from the 37.1% reported in 2010.
“While the percentage of foreign sales posted a slight tick downward in 2011, we believe that multiple changes in currency, index membership and contract details negate any strong implication to the third yearly drop,” said Silverblatt.
The data is derived from the 252 companies within the S&P 500 that have full reporting information.