Over the weekend, the Port of Los Angeles has published its latest data about monthly container statistics. Without much surprise, it is very ugly. The drop in container volumes at Port of Los Angeles is reaching minus 22.87% in February, which is the worst monthly performance since February 2009. It is of strong significance for the U.S. economy as the Port of Los Angeles is the number one port in the U.S. in terms of container volume and value.
We have a clear confirmation that supply chain disruptions due to the COVID-19 outbreak are becoming more visible and, based on preliminary data, are likely to get worse. Statistics for the month of March that should be released around April 15 should confirm that the Port of Los Angeles is going through a terrible time this month. In addition, severe disruptions on the consumer side 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.