2017 US Imports Soar to Break Annual Record
Imports at the largest US retail container ports have seen brisk growth and 2017 looks likely to break historical records, as August is the strongest month this year so far.
Job and income growth coupled with low debt has driven American consumption in terms of retail sales in 2017, altogether growing in the range of 3.7—4.2% in the past year.
Imports have been boosted by ‘relatively strong growth’ in GDP for the country.
GDP grew 2.6% in the second quarter of this year, more than double the 1.2% seen in the first quarter.
The details were released in trade body National Retail Federation and consultancy Hackett Associates Monthly Global Port Tracker that evaluates and monitors key port data.
On an annual basis, forecasted container volume for the US container ports analysed is expected to be 4.9% higher than in any previous year. That compares with 2016’s 3.1% increase over 2015.
The ports are forecast to record 1.75 million TEU in August, which is the highest monthly TEU volume recorded at the ports since NRF began tracking imports in 2000.
On a monthly basis, August is also notable as it is expected to record the highest volume ever since 1.73 million TEU seen in March 2015. Not only August, but also October, may count among the busiest months ever recorded for US container volume.
Prior months in 2017 have also been strong relative to 2016. Ports recorded 1.69 million TEU in June, 2017, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available, up 7.5% from June, 2016.
National Retail Federation Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy, Jonathan Gold, said: “Retailers are selling more and that means they need to import more.
“With sales showing year-over-year increases almost every month for a long time now, retail supply chains are working hard to keep up.
“These latest numbers are a good sign of what retailers expect in terms of consumer demand over the next few months.”