Panjiva data shows nice rebound from January to February
Data from Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, found that the number of United States-bound waterborne shipments increased 17 percent from December to January.
This represents a significant improvement from a 14 percent decline from November to December and a 2 percent decline from October to November. What’s more, the most recent batch of data halts a four-month stretch in which U.S.-bound waterborne shipments declined.
The actual number of shipments in January—1,015,854—was 15 percent better than December’s 868,365, and 12 percent better than the 910,596 shipments moved during January 2010.
And the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S. in January—142,036—was 6 percent better than December’s 134,864, while posting a 7 percent annual improvement over January 2010’s 133,729 global manufacturers. Panjiva said that this is the first time in the three years it has been collecting this data that there was an increase in the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S. from December to January.
“These numbers are certainly a pleasant surprise,” said Panjiva CEO Josh Green in an interview. “I think it suggests the December numbers really represented a blip, and that we are not at the leading edge of a significant downturn, which is great news.”
Aside from this data, Green said there are a number of encouraging signs that support the thesis of a slow-but-steady economic recovery, including the most recent Consumer Confidence Index from the Conference Board increasing to 70.4 in February from 64.8 in January and continued growth in the Institute for Supply Management’s Manufacturing Report on Business.
Even with some economic signs, Green noted that the rising price of oil has the potential to be a drag on the overall pace of the economic recovery, as well as wreak havoc on businesses that are moving goods like what happened throughout much of 2008 when oil barrel prices nearly hit $150.
But despite the potential drag of oil prices, there are across-the-board indications that the recovery is gaining steam, said Green.
Green noted that aside from December’s weak performance, November and January were close in terms of overall output with Panjiva’s data. And when looking at the data from August to February, it is looking at data moving from a seasonal high to a seasonal low.
“Holding steady is not such a bad thing,” said Green. “I would expect February, which is traditionally the lowest month of the year, to drop off from January, and I would not be alarmed by that at all. If history is any guide, we should see some growth from February going forward in the 3-to-5 percent range per month. Anything in that range is a typical global trade trajectory. It is a mixed bag and there are some challenges ahead, but we have the wind at our backs, which is nice.”
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