Below are highlights from the recently released trade data from the US Census Bureau and US Bureau of Economic Analysis. To view additional data and analysis related to the California economy visit our website at www.centerforjobs.org/ca.
The August data, especially when viewed in real terms, saw continued erosion in the state’s trade posture. Total trade through the state’s ports was up 10.3% over the year in nominal terms, just staying barely ahead of inflation in this period. Texas ports, however, clocked in with a 29% nominal gain in total trade. In August, Port of New York and New Jersey became the leading port measured by container movement (TEUs), ahead of Long Beach (2nd) and Los Angeles (3rd) as cargo shifts to avoid the West Coast congestion and potential labor actions.
As measured by the New York Federal Reserve Global Supply Chain Pressure Index, supply congestion continued easing globally in recent months, still at substantially elevated levels but reflecting the current slow up in global trade and emerging recessionary pressures.
Source: New York Federal Reserve
Within California, congestion off the San Pedro Bay ports similarly eased from last month, with the most recent report for October 5 indicating 17 ships (but no container ships) at anchor or loitering. As with the global results, supply congestion is easing but remains an issue, especially when incorporating the shift to inland congestion as the result of ongoing warehouse and trucking shortages. More importantly, the source of that easing is coming more from a softening of trade flows as inflationary and recessionary factors are growing rather than steps to improve trade infrastructure and operating efficiencies.