One thing that's not being discussed in the media is how the strengthening dollar, especially versus the Euro, will impact not only exports, but the currency converted value of sales internationally.
If US companies want to keep their sales volumes from decreasing in proportion to the increasing dollar strength, they'll need to maintain their European pricing at the same relative number of Euros as before. However, when they convert these sales, on paper, from Euros into dollars for quarterly numbers, each of these Euro sales are now generating fewer US dollars after the currency conversion.
Except for the last month, the USD dollar has been generally weakening against the Euro (FXE etf for easy charting) since June of 2010.
For the last two quarters, the USD : Euro ratio was primarily in the 1.40 to 1.45 range. This was also true for the first two months of Q3, but for the month of September the average is about 1.35 which is about 5.3% lower than before. Since this is 1/3 of the quarter, the overall impact to Q3 numbers should be about -1.8% to the top line for activity in Europe.
If the dollar continues to strengthen, or even stays in the current 1.35 range, the Q4 numbers could take a more significant hit.