Saturday, March 13, 2010

Trade numbers climb sharply at Southland ports

From the LA Times:

Trade numbers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation's busiest seaport complex, rose sharply in February compared with the same month last year, lending strength to the arguments of some experts who believe that a stronger-than-anticipated recovery may be underway.

It was the port complex's third straight month of growth compared with year-earlier figures. At the Port of Long Beach, which is second only to Los Angeles among ports that move mostly cargo containers, imports and exports increased 39.3% and 32.8%, respectively, compared with February 2009, although officials cautioned that last year's numbers were the worst since 2003.

At the Port of Los Angeles, the growth was almost as strong, and officials there managed a rare victory in trade between Asia and the West Coast. They won some new business after a year in which port-to-port transpacific shipping routes, known as strings, had dropped to 56 from 80 as ocean carriers scaled back to stem huge losses. Imports through Los Angeles rose 29.8% and exports grew 32.6% compared with February of last year.

"Our feeling is that consumers are coming back. They are spending a bit more of their money. They are less concerned about losing their jobs than they have been in the last three months," said Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates, which tracks international trade at the nation's busiest seaports for the National Retail Federation.

Hackett said his firm had scaled back its expectations for trade growth in 2010, "but we think we'll be seeing a relatively strong year at a 10% to 14% increase. We should see steady improvement, minus the usual seasonal adjustments."

The credit goes to the American political system, to our Constitution, and to our traditions. It does not go to Obama, who had done everything he can to fundamentally change our system, and plunder, or squander, it's resources.

The American spirit is fundamentally creative. As long as we have free speech, we will be so. As long as we are creative, we will innovate, and our economy will be strong.

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