Mon, Jul 30th 2007 1:11pm
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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