- THE MAGAZINE
Imports rebounded 1.6 percent in July after plunging 2.2 percent in June, reported IHS Global Insight. The oil import bill played a dominant role in this release rising 7.7 percent as imported petroleum volumes increased 2.9 percent and oil prices rose 4.6 percent (on heightened political tensions in the Middle East region).
Nonpetroleum imports also increased with gains across the board – with the exception of capital goods (dragged down by computers).
Consumer goods imports had a strong month overall, but it was led by artwork and antiques, pharmaceuticals and gem diamonds. The more traditional consumer goods categories meanwhile had a modest month with apparel moving sideways and cell phones declining.
Total exports cooled in July as gains in industrial supplies and food products were not enough to offset lower capital and consumer goods and automotive exports, commented IHS.
Industrial supplies had another good month led by strong fuel and petroleum products exports. Meanwhile, lower aircraft exports (a volatile category) and weaker telecommunications equipment and computers dragged down capital goods exports.
Consumer goods exports continued their seesaw progression with non-traditional and volatile categories dictating the path forward.
Overall, IHS expected export and import volume growth to rebound from around 2 percent in 2013 to around 5 percent in 2014.
A gradually improving global outlook should support exports while stronger domestic activity pulls in more imports. The foreign trade contribution to real GDP growth should be close to neutral in the second half of 2013.