U.S. Containerized Imports Down 1.5 Percent For August, Eastbound Trans-Pacific Trade Fell 3.8 percent

Sep 29, 2011, 16:40 ET from The Journal of Commerce & PIERS

NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A troubled housing market led to a 1.5 percent year-over-year drop in U.S. containerized imports for August, as shipments of furniture, appliances and home goods fell, according to The Journal of Commerce/PIERS, a sign that demand in the U.S. is weakening heading into the fall.  

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110929/NY77877 )

Compared to the previous month, overall imports rose 7.9 percent, but the year-to-year drop was the third straight month of decline. Without any solid indications of job growth in the private sector, Mario O. Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS, predicts total containerized imports will end the year just 2.7 percent above 2010 totals.

"Sales of new homes fell for four successive months through August, as prices of existing homes up for sale are perceived to be more affordable, discouraging home builders to request more permits and prying the economy of a much-needed support," said Moreno. "A healthy housing market is key in the revival of U.S. box imports as many of the goods consumers purchase to furnish a home are imported. We already have ultra-low mortgage rates, and homes are relatively more affordable, but the consumer can't take advantage of this mainly because of lack of jobs."

Eastbound trans-Pacific trade fell 3.8 percent in August year over year, following a drop of 5.3 percent in July. Year to date, through August, overall U.S. containerized imports increased 4.4 percent.

A full analysis of the JOC/PIERS findings is available online at www.joc.com.

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Mario O. Moreno, Economist
The Journal of Commerce/PIERS
+1-973-776-7850, mmoreno@joc.com

SOURCE The Journal of Commerce & PIERS