Thursday, April 15, 2010

Exports continue to grow

Another update of a chart I first showed one year ago. Data on outgoing container shipments from the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach (which account for a about 40% of U.S. container traffic) show continued growth in export activity, at least through the end of last month. This data is a a reasonably good and timely proxy for the growth of US exports, which are reported with a lag. Export growth feeds directly into GDP, and it is also a measure of how strong the global economy is. From the looks of things, all systems are go. Los Angeles container shipments have rebounded about 50% from their late-2008 lows, and have almost returned to the highs of early 2008. More V-shaped recovery signs; sorry if this is getting to be a bit boring.


Bill said...


It's always good to see positive news. I'd also like your thoughts on whether you think the stock market is "overbought" as some say. Although the market is still 20% below its 2007 high, can one argue that the 2007 high was based on artifically high valuations in assets that were overleveraged?

Scott Grannis said...

Bill: some of the stocks in the S&P 500 were likely "overvalued" given the impending collapse of the subprime mortgage market and the collateral damage suffered by almost all asset backed securities. But I think that would be a subsector of the market, and it's hard to argue that is something is overvalued when the event which triggers losses is not yet known. Bear in mind also that the major source of the market losses was the collapse of the US and global economies. This was of course brought on by the subprime crisis.

In any event, i don't think there were any obvious signs of overvaluation in 2007.