U.S. imports of containerized goods rose 7.3 percent in March on shipments of furniture and car parts, according to PIERS.
Imports gained to 1.4 million 20-foot boxes, the Newark, New Jersey-based tracker of cargo movements said in an e-mailed report yesterday. The increase raised first-quarter growth to 2 percent, exceeding the expected 1.5 percent climb, PIERS said.
“Although the U.S. economy is showing signs of deceleration, it will likely be momentary,” Mario Moreno, an economist for the Journal of Commerce/PIERS, said in the report. “Import growth should regain speed in the second half.”
First-quarter containerized imports from Asia gained 0.5 percent, lower than a forecast of 1 percent, Moreno said. Shipments from China rose 13 percent from a year earlier in March to 66,681 boxes, according to PIERS. The jump reflected shutdowns of Chinese factories in January for the Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in February in 2011, Moreno said.
Auto-part and furniture imports advanced 15 percent for March, Moreno said in a post on the Journal of Commerce website on April 26. Shipments from northeastern Asia rose 11 percent as imports from the Indian subcontinent fell 7 percent. Cargoes from northern Europe advanced 6 percent in March and shipments from Germany gained 11 percent, the post showed.
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