Monday, August 23, 2010

Shipping update

These are the dog days of summer, with most of the financial types on vacation and the Labor Day weekend less than 2 weeks away. The beach here is beautiful but relatively uncrowded, perhaps due to the water temperature being an unusually cold 60-61ยบ. Since there's not much going on, I thought I would post update charts of shipping costs.

Contrary to the widely-held view that the U.S. and most global economies have taken a turn for the worse, the Baltic Dry Index has been moving steadily higher since mid-July. The Harpex Index was on a tear but has recently taken a breather. On balance, neither index is supportive of the notion that economies are headed towards a double-dip recession. In fact, I think it's entirely reasonable to assume from this and from other real-time measures of economic activity (e.g., commodity prices, railroad ton-miles, part-time staffing, truck fuel consumption) that most economies, including ours, continue to grow.

1 comment:

Andy said...

One interesting further point is the Harpex data for the largest container ships is moving higher at an even more rapid pace. I'm not sure what that means - perhaps a trend towards reducing overall shipping costs per TEU...