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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Los Angeles Port Traffic Rebounds

by Calculated Risk on 4/14/2009 02:54:00 PM

Update note: this is just one month of data, and not seasonally adjusted.

Port traffic gives us an early hint of changes in the trade deficit. Usually I wait until both Los Angeles and Long Beach ports report monthly traffic, but this rebound might be significant. (I'll add Long Beach when the data is released)

LA Area Port Traffic Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the loaded inbound and outbound traffic at the port of Los Angeles in TEUs (TEUs: 20-foot equivalent units or 20-foot-long cargo container). Although containers tell us nothing about value, container traffic does give us an idea of the volume of goods being exported and imported.

Inbound traffic was 6% below last March and 35% above last month.

Outbound traffic was 9.8% below March 2008, and 25% above February.

We have to be careful because of the impact of the Chinese New Year on trade in February, but there does appear to be a significant rebound after trade collapsed in February.