The National Retail Federation just released their latest Global Port Tracker, and it points to further upside for U.S. retail sales.
Based on data from America’s major retail container ports such as Los Angeles and Savannah, the federation expects import volumes to surge 8% in April, year over year.
They also believe that ‘solid’ increases will continue through the summer at least.
According to NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold, “Retail sales are starting to improve and retailers are importing merchandise in the quantities they need to meet that demand.” He expects “these numbers to continue to climb as merchants and their customers move away from the recession and back toward normal shopping habits.”
Hackett Associates, who co-writes the Port Tracker, has highlighted that “Port volumes have begun to rebound and we expect growth to continue going forward. Retailers were maintaining lean inventories during the recession but are carefully building back up.”
This means that the U.S. consumer is back in consumption mode.
Thus the surge at U.S. ports data bodes well for major retail companies such as Walmart (WMT), Costco (COST), and Target (TGT) plus many others as well.
In fact, as U.S. consumer spending picks up, even companies that price their products at higher than average price points or sell non-essentials can look forward to good news since growth in spending will likely be disproportionately biased towards non-essentials and small luxuries, such as say Apple (AAPL) iPads, since this is where Americans had cut back during the downturn.
A good few months, at least, of strong retail numbers are coming.
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