Chinese New Year Alters Trade Stats – This year’s Chinese (Lunar) New Year landed on February 3rd; however, this date can range from late January to early February. A rush of shipments normally precedes the holiday as manufacturers ramp up production to ship their goods before factories shut down. International shipping out of Asia experiences a slack period in the weeks following the celebration. As a result, economists must be careful when analyzing trade data and comparing it to historical data.
Read more from the WSJ.
China Raises Interest Rates – China’s central bank has raised interest rates to fight inflation in the country. Consumer prices have risen 4.9% over the past year leading rates found in the U.S. and Europe. Importers are watching China’s economy closely to see how economic changes will impact their business.
Read more from CNN.
LA-Long Beach Ports Reduce PierPass Gates – As a result of slower traffic since Chinese New Year, over half of the container terminals in LA/Long Beach will temporarily close one off-peak gate until demand increases. Last year these gates returned to service in summer. This year they are expected to open earlier. The PierPass program was originally created in 2005.