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Welcome to a new week. Following a week that saw the financial spotlight shift to the banking crisis and the Federal Reserve, the latest data on inflation will put the focus back on consumer goods and spending this week. On the earnings calendar, a host of CPG and digitally native brands alike are set to report results for the latest quarter, offering a snapshot of consumer health and execution strategies that are working now.
Accelerate23: The Global Ecommerce Acceleration Summit from Pattern features speakers including Honest Company Founder Jessica Alba, Olympic Champion Michael Phelps, TikTok US Ecommerce head Sandie Hawkins and Supergoop CEO Amanda Baldwin. (May 10-11, Salt Lake City)
Consumer Price Index: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data on inflation across a broad swath of the economy for April 2023. In March, inflation eased to 5% as the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes took hold across the economy. (Wednesday, May 10, 8:30 a.m.)
Producer Price Index: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics provides data on prices paid to manufacturers for goods before they reach retail. Known as the wholesale inflation index, the PPI is seen as a forward-looking measure of inflation. (Thursday, May 11, 8:30 a.m.)
Consumer Sentiment: The University of Michigan offers a preliminary reading on consumer buying conditions and inflation expectations for May 2023. Though this metric remains above last year's doldrums, it was basically unchanged in April. (Friday, May 12, 10 a.m.)
Monday, May 8: PayPal, Uber
Tuesday, May 9: Allbirds, Coty, Honest Company, Hostess, Under Armour, Warby Parker
Wednesday, May 10: Wolverine WorldWide
Thursday, May 11: Tapestry, Utz, Yeti
Trending in Economy
Labor disputes on the West Coast could cause further disruption heading into peak season.
When the first half of 2023 is complete, imports are expected to dip 22% below last year.
That’s according to new data from the Global Port Tracker, which is compiled monthly by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The decline has been building over the entire year, as imports dipped in the winter. With the spring, volume started to rebound. In April, the major ports handled 1.78 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units. That was an increase of 9.6% from March. Still it was a decline of 21.3% year over year – reflecting the record cargo hauled in over the spike in consumer demand of 2021 and the inventory glut 2022.
In 2023, consumer spending is remaining resilient with in a strong job market, despite the collision of inflation and interest rates. The economy remains different from pre-pandemic days, but shipping volumes are beginning to once again resemble the time before COVID-19.
“Economists and shipping lines increasingly wonder why the decline in container import demand is so much at odds with continuous growth in consumer demand,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, in a statement. “Import container shipments have returned the pre-pandemic levels seen in 2019 and appear likely to stay there for a while.”
Retailers and logistics professionals alike are looking to the second half of the year for a potential upswing. Peak shipping season occurs in the summer, which is in preparation for peak shopping season over the holidays.
Yet disruption could occur on the West Coast if labor issues can’t be settled. This week, ports from Los Angeles to Seattle reported closures and slowdowns as ongoing union disputes boil over, CNBC reported. NRF called on the Biden administration to intervene.
“Cargo volume is lower than last year but retailers are entering the busiest shipping season of the year bringing in holiday merchandise. The last thing retailers and other shippers need is ongoing disruption at the ports,” aid NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “If labor and management can’t reach agreement and operate smoothly and efficiently, retailers will have no choice but to continue to take their cargo to East Coast and Gulf Coast gateways. We continue to urge the administration to step in and help the parties reach an agreement and end the disruptions so operations can return to normal. We’ve had enough unavoidable supply chain issues the past two years. This is not the time for one that can be avoided.”