Thursday, December 10, 2009

Consumer Goods Imports - Year Over Year Changes

This is the M4 account from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), which is the quarterly nominal dollar amount of consumer goods ex-automobiles imported into the USA, non-seasonally adjusted. It would appear to have a nice uptick in 3Q 2009...

This type of unadjusted data, which exhibits strong seasonal behavior, is best reviewed on year over year basis and we see that in the plot above. This shows the "uptick" to be essentially entirely seasonal behavior as the 3Q 2009 as compared to the 3Q 2008 was down by ~-$18 billion

One approach to normalizing the absolute dollar amounts is to compare the year over year changes on a percent basis, which is displayed in the final plot above. Overall, it makes me wonder how big a holiday sales season could be had even if end demand was there...

Data source:BEA Balance of Payments

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