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
    Rick, 30 Jul 2007 @ 3:08pm

    Middle Class is good

    Consider what the middle class did in the US for the world. It fueled the need for all those imports and is finally actually creating a middle class in those countries.

    Over time as they develop a middle class they will not be able to supply all the goods their citizens want and will increase their imports. This will benefit the US in the long term due to our high productivity in relation to the rest of the world. As prices stabilize worldwide, manufacturing will grow in the US again as we will be able to compete again on price and still maintain our high standards of living.

    Unfortunately, it's going to be another 20 years before we see real results in the US economy. It's all a cycle.

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