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Report Published: "United States Shipping Report Q4 2013"

Fast Market Research recommends "United States Shipping Report Q4 2013" from Business Monitor International, now available


Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/20/2013 -- BMI maintains its cautiously positive view on the US shipping sector. We forecast contractions in throughput at both the port of Los Angeles and the Port of New York/New Jersey. We have revised down our 2013 US real GDP growth forecast from 2.1% to 1.8%, which is mostly attributable to base effects from poor data readings in Q412 and Q113.

The downward revision to our headline real GDP growth number is partly the result of changes to our forecast for real net exports of goods and services. We have revised down our export growth figure, from 3.5% to 2.5%, due to back-to-back contractions in annualised real export growth in Q412 and Q313. However, we have revised up our 2013 real imports of goods and services forecast from 2.8% to 3.3%, well above the 2.4% import growth posted in 2012. We continue to believe that the US consumer is slowly - and sometimes unsteadily - gaining momentum after several years of weak activity, providing a welcome boost to container volumes at US ports. The biggest external risk is a collapse of the eurozone which would hit the US via a financial sector shock and via trade channels, with a negative follow-on effect on shipping volumes.

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Our 2014 growth forecast of 2.7% represents a major bounce from 2013, and we believe that the risks to economic expansion remain predominantly to the upside. Our core view on the US economy is that the recovery is becoming increasingly entrenched, and that by 2014 many of the headwinds to growth, including government spending cuts, will be dissipating. Not only do we expect accelerating growth in 2014, we believe the US economy could be on the cusp of a multi-year period of stronger growth.

Key Industry Data

- At the port of Los Angeles (LA) we forecast a 4.2% year-on-year (y-o-y) contraction in total tonnage in 2013, to reach 64mn tonnes.
- At the East Coast port of New York/New Jersey (NY/NJ), growth is forecast to be 2.1% y-o-y in 2013, to reach 143.3mn tonnes.
- We expect LA to record a contraction of 6.3% in twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) throughput in 2013, falling to 7.5mn TEUs.
- We expect NY/NJ to record a contraction of 4% in TEU throughput in 2013, to reach 5.3mn TEUs.

Key Industry Trends

Mazda Boost For Baltimore: BMI believes that a new deal struck between the Maryland port of Baltimore and the Japanese car company Mazda will ensure healthy growth at the port continues over the medium term. We are already bullish with regards to the facility's container-handling prospects, and now its autos division looks set for robust growth also.

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