Imports were up 5.2 percent last month, and exports were up 5.9 percent. Inbound traffic normally slows down this time of year, picking up during the summer as retailers gear up for the back to school and holiday seasons. In its new economic forecast, the Economic Development Corporation of L.A. County expects a sluggish 2.8 percent increase at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. From the report:
The pace of global economic recovery will slow in 2012. The recovery will continue to reflect two different economic stories. The developing economies (especially in Emerging Asia) will lead the global recovery (albeit at a much slower pace than in the last two years), while the advanced economies will see modest improvements in GDP growth and some will fall into recession (i.e. Europe). The growth in Emerging Asia bodes well for trade volumes at our local ports. Overall, the results for 2012 should be healthy as growth will exceed 2011 levels.
January results at the Port of Long Beach are not yet out.
*Update: Long Beach imports were down 5.5 percent in January and exports were down 8.2 percent. Long Beach has been lagging L.A. in recent month, although in January Orient Overseas agreed on a lease deal that's valued at $4.6 billion over 40 years. The shipping line will also invest about $500 million in cargo-handling equipment for the Middle Harbor project.