Economy Watch

Shippers need to think about end-to-end power costs, not just fuel prices, when designing supply chains, speakers at the CSCMP meeting said. Those costs, they warn, could become more volatile.

On an improved macroeconomic backdrop, U.S. retail holiday sales growth this year is expected to top that of last year, putting increased pressure on logistics and parcel delivery companies.

U.S. diesel prices slipped 0.6 percent or 2.3 cents to $3.778 per gallon on Sept. 22, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, which brought the price to its lowest level since July 16, 2012.

U.S. containerized exports will grow in the next five years on the back of a strong construction demand around the globe, JOC Group Economist Mario Moreno says.

soybean fields
Low prices invariably generate increased demand, so exports of corn, soybeans and energy products derived from those commodities will do quite well in the coming year and beyond, said David Hightower, principal at Hightower Associates in Chicago and publisher of the Hightower Report on commodities.

India’s merchandise exports in August rose 2.35 percent year-over-year to $26.95 billion, the lowest growth rate in five months.

Given the slightly stronger-than-expected first half, and that economic conditions in the U.S. are improving, JOC Group Economist Mario Moreno is upgrading the 2014 imports projection to 6.7 percent annual growth, up from the March projection of 5.9 percent.

warehouse
U.S. inventory and sales data released by the Commerce Department this week point to increased need to restock already lean inventories heading into the fourth quarter.

Trucking’s hiring plans stalled in August, as for-hire motor carriers with payroll numbers tracked by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lost approximately 800 employees.

European economic growth might be flatlining, but you wouldn’t know it by the strong container import growth in the first half, according to Drewry Maritime Research.