As you can imagine, giving to charities is really, in most cases, a very discretionary item. Though we are admonished to keep giving faithfully even during difficult times, unfortunately for many of us, when tough times hit, we either dramatically reduce the amount we give or we stop giving all together. And charities really feel it when we do.
As you all are aware, pundits and pollsters for the past three to four weeks have been focusing on the fact that the tsunami in Japan caused. At the time, the human suffering was clear. Now, the longer-term effects of supply chain disruptions are becoming apparent. This is chiefly impacting manufacturers in the U.S. that source parts from Japan.appears to be stalling. Although growth has slowed recently, some economists are indicating that the real culprit behind this may not be general economic malaise but the disruption the March
So it was somewhat surprising to learn that despite the tsunami, the western ports in the U.S. continued to show growth in May. As I have discussed before, port activity – both imports and exports – are very good leading economic indicators. Goods entering the country indicate that consumption is increasing. Products [Read more…]indicate that manufacturers are ramping up.
From time to time I like to update you on. Some of these are standard items like retail and employment; others are more obscure. Today’s data would fall into the latter group.
As you know, sales of discretionary items are usually a good indicator of the direction of the. These items tend to cycle with economic growth on a consistent basis. When the perception of the public is that good times are ahead, sales of discretionary items tend to go up. Of course, as we saw in 2008 and 2009, the opposite is true as well.
The sale of wine for most consumers would fall into the category of a discretionary purchase, especially higher-end wines. As reported recently in the Los Angeles Times, “After a two-year slump, domestic wine retail sales in 2010 increased and U.S. wine exports jumped 26%. For the first time, the U.S. consumed more wine than France.” [Read more…]
Recently it was announced that the nation’s leading seaports continued to see solid gains in overall shipping activity. Port activity is a leading economic indicator because ports are the entry andpoint of goods coming to and leaving this country. Growth in imports obviously indicates that the is growing and demand is up. Growth in products being exported tells us that U.S. manufacturers are expanding, which eventually leads to job growth and further economic expansion.
As reported last month, despite the massive earthquake in Japan and rising fuel costs, the Port of Los Angeles reported a 10 percent increase in cargo shipments during the first quarter of 2011. [Read more…]