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Shipping Indexes Signal Global Economic Trends

Payton Odom

Annual Report, Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute, 2010, 28-35

Abstract: International trade is the centerpiece of the global economy; the United States increasingly turns to foreign suppliers for many consumer goods it once produced domestically. Yet, many studies of international trade emphasize only the starting and finish lines of the supply chain, with little consideration of how goods arrive at their final destination. A closer look at the logistics reveals a story of competition and innovation, in which a complex and dynamic network of ships moves the vast majority of traded goods across the world?s oceans. A number of indexes document two principal sectors of maritime shipping?dry bulk and container cargo?and are believed to foretell broader production and commercial developments. Understanding the methodology used in these measurements aids the understanding of international trade trends and their implication for recovery from the global financial crisis.

Date: 2010
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