WASHINGTON-Import volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise 1.1 percent in June, indicating that retailers have at most modest growth expectations, according to the most recent Global Tracker Report from the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Jonathan Gold, NRF’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy, said the report underscores retailers’ caution regarding their business this summer and going into the back-to-school season. “We aren’t expecting significant increases for imports until October, when retailers will have a better idea of what to expect for holiday demand,” Gold said.
In April, the most recent month with available data, import cargo volume rose 14.6 percent from March but was down 0.1 percent from April 2012. The estimate for May calls for a 2.2 percent increase from May of last year.
Following June, July’s volume is projected for a rise of 1.9 percent, followed by an August increase of 0.5 percent. September’s volume is expected to increase 0.8 percent, and October imports are slated for a 7.9 percent increase.
“We are witnessing a period of import trade growth that is running more or less in sync with the U.S. economic expansion,” said Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates. “Unfortunately, both are anemic.”