Closely watched retail trade analysts in the United States decreased their import target for the first half of 2023 on Monday, predicting that inbound ocean container volume will remain light until this autumn when stores like Walmart should be well into holiday season preparations.
The Global Port Tracker predicts 10.4 million 20-foot equivalent unit imports to the United States in the first half of the year, down about 4% from its prior estimate, reported Reuters.
According to an assessment released on Monday by the National Retail Federation and maritime trade consultancy Hackett Associates, if imports hit the revised objective, they will be down 23% from the first half of 2022.
The uncertainty caused by high inflation, Federal Reserve interest rate hikes, and recent bank failures is dragging on commerce, according to Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates.
“Year-over-year import volumes have been on the decline at most ports since late last year, and declining exports out of China highlight the slowdown in demand for consumer goods,” Hackett said.
“Our view is that imports will remain below recent levels until inflation rates and inventory surpluses are reduced,” he said, according to the report.