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News

U.S.-bound shipments see annual and sequential gains in October, reports Panjiva

2014-12-10 16:51:42

U.S.-bound shipments see annual and sequential gains in October, reports Panjiva

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
December 03, 2014

United States-bound waterborne shipments saw sequential and annual gains from September to October, according to data recently issued by Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers.

October shipments––at 1,260,200–– up 7 percent annually and 1 percent over September’s 1,241,848 and, which matches up with September to October differences in recent years, including a 2 percent increase in 2013, a ten percent increase in 2012 (being the exception), flat growth in 2011, a 2 percent decrease in 2010, and a 3 percent gain in 2009.

Shipments are up 7 percent compared to October 2013, and they are up 6 percent through the first ten months of 2014 at 11,825,090.

Despite the positive growth, Panjiva CEO Josh Green noted in a blog posting that the lackluster Black Friday retail sales numbers raise the possibility that retailers may have over-ordered and subsequently result in “inventory overhang” heading into 2015.

In an interview, just ahead of Black Friday, Green said that the October numbers looked very strong, confirming that retailers are betting on a strong holiday season.

But with a slow beginning to the holiday shopping season, how things eventually shake out still remains to be seen.

“On some level, the October numbers are about the accumulation of consistent growth on the jobs front, and in the macro economy there is a momentum that has built up as there has been growth quarter after quarter, whereas in recent years there has been growth and then a drop off,” said Green. “And we have gone through a sustained period of growth that is giving both businesses and consumers confidence that the economy is robust.”

While things appear to be in good shape on the economic front, there are many things to keep an eye on in terms of potential economic headwinds, including the Chinese economy, which recently experienced a key interest rate cut for the first time in two years in a surprise move that signals Chines authorities are worried about slowing economic growth.

In the U.S., Green said what is happening with the economy is the byproduct of a virtuous cycle, with solid GDP, and improving employment and retail sales numbers, low gas prices and solid auto sales and housing numbers, too.

“These things are feeding into each other,” he said. “When businesses see strong consumer confidence, they are investing and when consumers see positive GDP numbers, it gives them confidence to go out and spend. That seems to be a very healthy economic dynamic in place right now.”

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