U.S. Containerized Imports Up for 3rd Consecutive Month, Led by Growth in Furniture, Auto Parts

Steady sales growth in both automobiles and existing homes over the last few months drove U.S. container import volumes up 4.1% in January to 1,475,608 million TEUs. This marks the 3rd consecutive month of year-over-year imports increase, and a month-over-month climb of 11%.

U.S. Containerized Imports January 2012

 

Adding to a continuous expansion lasting more than two years, January imports of auto parts rose 19%, while home sales spurred a 3rd straight month of increases in furniture, up 6%. The activity in the housing market bodes well for the short-term outlook of these volumes — the largest import commodity group, said Mario O. Moreno, economist for PIERS/The Journal of Commerce.

“The overall employment market is modestly improving, but real consumer spending has remained flat in the last 3 months through January. Higher gasoline prices are a major risk to the import trade as lower disposable income will adversely affect spending on discretionary goods such as apparel, computers, and home goods,” Moreno cautioned, noting a 10% drop in menswear in January, though inbound shipments of footwear rose by 4% after several months of decline.

Imports from Asia continued to rise, up 2.9% in January, with shipments from China climbing the most, up 2% to 709,410 TEUs. Moreno forecasts a 2.5 percent increase in U.S. imports from Asia throughout 2012. Also of note, imports from Mexico grew 68% for this period.

Moreno’s detailed report can be found in the March 2012 issue of JOC Insights and additional analysis of the PIERS/JOC findings is available online at joc.com.

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One Response to “U.S. Containerized Imports Up for 3rd Consecutive Month, Led by Growth in Furniture, Auto Parts”

  1. Recent International Trade Related News From PIERS Transportation | World Trade Daily Says:

    […] U.S. Containerized Imports Up for 3rd Consecutive Month, Led by Growth in Furniture, Auto Parts. Steady sales growth in both automobiles and existing homes over the last few months drove U.S. container import volumes up 4.1% in January to 1,475,608 million TEUs. This marks the 3rd consecutive month of year-over-year imports increase, and a month-over-month climb of 11%.  Adding to a continuous expansion lasting more than two years, January imports of auto parts rose 19%, while home sales spurred a 3rd straight month of increases in furniture, up 6%. The activity in the housing market bodes well for the short-term outlook of these volumes — the largest import commodity group. […]

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