Supply Chain Management: Seasonal economic growth is encouraging, say researchers

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Data from Panjiva, an online search engine with detailed information on global suppliers and manufacturers, showed solid economic growth on a seasonal basis from April to May.

Following a 7 percent gain in shipments from March to April, April to May showed an 8 percent increase at 1,037,365, said Panjiva.  The number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S.—at 147,876 was up 6 percent, matching a 6 percent increase from March to April. Both shipments and manufacturers were down 1 percent, respectively, year-over-year.

While both shipments and the number of global manufacturers shipping to the U.S. are up over the last two months, concern over a possible double-dip recession remains heightened in recent weeks, due to energy prices, high unemployment and several other factors.

“I would describe this data as solid but seasonal growth,” said Panjiva CEO Josh Green. “If you look back on previous years from April to May, we always see growth. In 2008, April to May growth was up 6 percent and up 3 percent in 2009, and in 2010 it was 12 percent. As healthy as 8 percent is, it is still not on the level we saw a year ago at this time.”

Even though there was growth from April to May, Green said that this type of output was expected due to seasonal variations.

But he said that with the various reports of negative economic news at the moment, there are companies shifting into the mode of making purchases for the holiday season amidst these reports, which could lead to flat shipping trends throughout the third quarter and into the fourth quarter.

“There is a lot of caution across the board regarding the economy at the moment,” said Green.

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About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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