Over the weekend, the Port of Los Angeles has published its latest data about monthly container statistics. Surprising exactly nobody, it was very ugly.
As Saxobank's Christopher Dembik writes, the drop in container volumes at Port of Los Angeles was -22.87% in February, which is the worst monthly performance since February 2009. As the Saxo analyst notes, traffic at America's largest port in terms of volume and value "is of strong significance for the U.S. economy" as it is a leading indicator for overall commerce and trade. The data presents a clear confirmation that supply chains disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak are becoming more visible and, based on preliminary data, are likely to get worse.
Looking ahead, statistics for the month of March, which should be released around April 15, should confirm the Port of Los Angeles is going through a terrible time this month.
Adding to that severe disruptions on the consumer side that are likely to get stronger, especially regarding discretionary consumption which represents nearly 40% of GDP, and you get a perfect storm for a recession.
The only pending question at this stage is the size of the drop.