mmoreno@joc.com

Mario O. Moreno is economist for The Journal of Commerce. He is based in Newark, N.J.

Containers
Growth in U.S. containerized imports will accelerate this year thanks to an improving labor and auto market, a resilient manufacturing sector and expected gains in the value of the U.S. dollar as the Federal Reserve begins to taper its massive quantitative monetary stimulus. This acceleration hinges upon the major assumption that another debt-ceiling crisis will be avoided.

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U.S. containerized imports through June 2013. Source: PIERS.
U.S. containerized imports climbed 1.5 percent year-over-year in June, following growth in April and May, according to advance figures from PIERS, a JOC sister company. U.S. containerized imports...
U.S. containerized exports through June 2013. Source: PIERS.
U.S. containerized exports fell 6.1 percent year-over-year in June, to 925,043 20-foot-equivalent units, according to preliminary figures from PIERS, a JOC sister company.
Get ready for another year of modest growth for U.S. containerized imports.
Steep declines in imports of furniture, toys and footwear in February helped pushed U.S. containerized imports down 5.8 percent year-over-year, the first decline in four months.