Econintersect likes to count “things” to validate the dollar denominated improvements reported by the USA Government. When you count, arguments about inflation and cost changes almost disappear.
There is positive economic news in the movement of containers to and from the USA. So far in March 2011:
- Rail Traffic is Up 3.4% YoY (analysis here)
- Diesel Use for transport vehicles is up 2.7% YoY (analysis here)
Now container traffic through the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is up 3% for imports and 12% for exports YoY.
Economic health of a country can be tracked by following the transport of goods and materials. If the goods transport is rising, the economy is improving. Conversely when goods transport is falling, the economy is contracting.
The Ports of LA and Long Beach account for much of the container movement into and out of the United States. And these two ports report their data significantly earlier than other USA ports. Most of the manufactured goods move between countries in sea containers (except larger rolling items such as automobiles). This pulse point is an early indicator of the health of the economy.
Containers come in many sizes so a uniform method is expressing the volume of containers is TEU – which is the volume of a standard 20 foot long sea container. So a standard 40 foot container would be 2 TEU.
Last month (analysis here) was a weak month for containers, but traffic came strongly back in March. Overall, counting things is showing the economy is steadily improving.
Railroads: Traffic Up 3.4% in March 2011 by Steven Hansen
Weekly Rail Traffic News GEI News