Port Data Gives Clues On The Economy

from the ship-it! dept

Measuring the activity at US trading ports is a good way to get a picture of global trading activity. For example, take a look at the statistics from the Port of Los Angeles, where you can see that the percentage of ships that arrive empty is dwarfed by the number of ships that leave empty, indicative of the fact that the US imports way more than it exports, at least when it comes to physical goods. While imports have been on a tear, there is some evidence that imports from overseas are starting to slow. There are a number of possible reasons for this, although the most worrisome possibility is that the economy is weakening. On the other hand, higher commodity costs and increased concerns over the quality of items being shipped from China, could also be weighing down the numbers. Either way, this statistic will be an important one to watch, as it could portend a significant economic shift.
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Filed Under: china, shipping


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Jul 2007 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Rising middle class

    "Middle class" means markedly different things in the U.S. and China. The top of the earnings curve in China earns and consumes far less than the top of the earnings curve in the U.S. That's why there's a trade deficit-- they work for less so our middle class can afford their shit, but theirs can't afford ours.

    Oh, and while economics can have an impact on conflict, the poor have vastly more to lose than the middle and upper classes in times of war. Their lives. Those who can afford to leave flee, leaving behind those who can't to die.

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