NEWARK, N.J., Sept. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Journal of Commerce and PIERS revised estimates for containerized import growth for 2011 and 2012 downward on Thursday, citing weaker economic data reported by the U.S. government that will lead to a nearly stagnant import trade for the rest of this year.
Mario Moreno, economist for The Journal of Commerce/PIERS, revised the annual growth estimate for the full year 2011 down from 4.7 percent to 2.7 percent, and from 6.8 percent to 4.4 percent for 2012.
He forecast year-over-year declines of 0.7 percent in overall imports and 2.4 percent for eastbound trans-Pacific trade for third quarter 2011, followed by increases of 1.1 percent in overall imports and 0.9 percent in eastbound trans-Pacific trade in the fourth quarter.
The U.S. Department of Commerce's recent revisions indicate "that the U.S. economy has performed much more poorly in the post recessionary period than was believed and been close to recession for much of the first half of the year," Moreno said.
Stubbornly high unemployment and the weak housing market have led to sluggish retail spending on key import commodities, including furniture and home appliances, despite optimistic results earlier this year. This weakening of the consumer market contributed to the year-over-year drop of U.S. containerized imports by 5.4 percent in July, after falling 1.7 the previous month.
Moreno expects the U.S. dollar exchange rate to continue its decline against major currencies well into 2012. Foreign investors will likely turn to other markets as soon as the European financial crisis abates and investor appetite for risk increases, he said, which will cause the demand for dollars to continue falling, and higher import prices to then dampen U.S. demand for goods made abroad.
A full analysis of the JOC/PIERS findings is available at www.joc.com.
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Mario O. Moreno, Economist
The Journal of Commerce/PIERS
SOURCE The Journal of Commerce & PIERS