Panjiva, which provides data on global suppliers to help companies manage risk, reports that in the August-to-September period, the number of manufacturers shipping to the U.S. declined by 5 percent, indicating that importers have low expectations for the upcoming holiday season.
"These declines are the steepest we've seen since February, when global trade hit bottom, and would seem to confirm that American businesses have modest expectations for the coming holiday shopping season," says Panjiva CEO Josh Green.
There was, however, good news in Panjiva's latest analysis:
This year's August-September decline is in line with declines in 2008 (7 percent) and 2007 (4 percent), suggesting seasonality may be a key driver.
The percentage of significant manufacturers on the Panjiva Watch List declined slightly from 28 percent in August to 27 percent in September.
The percentage of significant buyers having done business with a Panjiva Watch List supplier in the preceding three months declined slightly from 38 percent in August to 37 percent in September.
Manufacturers on the Panjiva Watch List are those that have suffered a 50 percent or greater decline in volume shipped to American customers in the most recent three-month period, versus the same period a year ago.
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