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Miserable End to The 2010s as Trade War, Weak Demand Slash U.S. Imports

China 2207 Cons. Discr. - Apparel 292 Cons. Discr. - Autos 797 Cons. Discr. - Durables 212 Cons. Discr. - Retailing 225 India 363 Industrials - Capital Goods 358 Materials - Chemicals 138 Materials - Metals/Mining 571 Metals - Steel 409 South Korea 458 Taiwan 132 Trade Balance 784 U.S. 3976

U.S. seaborne import activity ended the 2019 on a low point after shipments fell by 10.6% year over year in December. That meant the total for the year fell by 1.0%, the worst annual performance since 2009. Trade with China was largely to blame with a 19.1% drop in shipments largely due to the impact of tariffs and the timing of pre-tariff stockpiling a year earlier. The decline in trade isn’t just a China-specific issue though with shipments from Taiwan, South Korea and India all in decline. The drag to demand from tariffs and the higher cost of alternatives can be seen in both consumer...

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