Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Port Traffic Stagnation

Import traffic does not imply that there will be a stellar Christmas season. That said, it is hardly the "unprecedented drop" that Mish thinks he sees.

Port traffic on the West coast is down significantly. Expected traffic for September is also way lower. Yet analysts have been busy raising expectations for the holiday season. One thing for sure, one group is wrong.

Both groups seem to be wrong! Seasonally adjusted, September's inbound traffic was actually slightly higher than in August.

The export trend appears to be doing okay. There was a definite uptick in September. Will the upward trend continue? Tell me and we'll both know.

Overall port traffic is definitely stagnating. I would say that the high price of oil is once again creating some drag.

Over the past 3 years, we've made no significant dent in closing the unsustainable trade deficit. We continue to bring in far more than we ship out.

On the one hand, we are well off the levels seen in 2004 so there is some hope. On the other hand, I'm not particularly pleased with the
fastest growing exports of our supposedly advanced economy.

See Also:
Continued Port Traffic Stagnation

Source Data:
Port of Long Beach: Statistics
Port of Los Angeles: Statistics
The X-12-ARIMA Seasonal Adjustment Program


getyourselfconnected said...

Another great set of charts Mark, thanks. Waiting for the next weight loss post.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I'm headin' to zero weight if current unsustainable trends continue! ;)

Troy said...

I would say that the high price of oil is once again creating some drag.

Oil, shmoil.

American households pump 1000 gallons of gas a year, so $1 diff here is ~$1000.

The home ATM was pumping out $10,000 per household during the boom times, 2005-2007.

Sheeet, per-capita health care is up $1100 PER CAPITA since 2007.

Stagflationary Mark said...


I think you are underestimating the power of a single drop to start a flood.

Stagflationary Mark said...

I should add that I don't think it is rational for Americans to freak out over the price of gasoline to the extent they do, as long as prices in general are not rising that fast.

That said, it is the price people see every time they fill their tank.

February 28, 2011
How Higher Oil Prices Will Hit Your Wallet

It would be worse if $4 gas were to produce a bunker mentality that caused consumers to stop spending and hoard cash.