When fuel costs are high and demand is low, it follows that fewer cargo containers will be coming into the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, which only happens to be the biggest single source of employment in L.A. County. Deutsche Bank analyst Alan Billingsley calculates that container volume into the U.S. grew at an average rate of 6.2 percent between 1998 and 2007. Nice. But between now and 2012, annual growth will average a paltry 1 percent to 2 percent (here's the post from MarketBeat). The June figures from both local ports affirm the slow growth. The number of containers handled at the ports fell 12.1 percent from a year earlier. Imports dropped by 13.7 percent and exports grew by 12.3 percent. But in raw numbers there's far more import action. Port activity has been on the decline since last year (here are the numbers from the EDC).
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