Monday, June 15, 2009
Here's an update to a chart I've posted before, using the recently-released May data on container shipments and the April data on goods exports. It purports to show that the recent rise in outbound container shipments from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach portends a significant improvement in U.S. goods exports in coming months, something which would be unquestionably good news for the economy. We haven't seen improvement in the export data yet (blue line), but that data undoubtedly lags the ports' container count by at least a month or more. Outbound containers from Los Angeles have now reversed more than two-thirds of the precipitous drop in shipments that occurred from August last year through January of this year. That is an excellent indication, in my view, that last year's slump was largely temporary in nature. As Brian Wesbury notes, government mishandling of the financial crisis last year "set off a rare financial panic, the velocity of money plummeted, and economic activity collapsed." The panic started receding many months ago, and there are plenty of green shoots out there which suggest that the global economy is now coming back to life.
Posted by Scott Grannis at 3:09 PM