Insights & Analysis
Welcome to Flexport Research
Logistics has been described as "a backstage pass to the world economy." As the technology platform for global logistics, Flexport has a unique vantage point on global trade and supply chains. Here we offer novel insights and analysis incorporating Flexport and third-party data.
Weekly Economic Report
Strong Online Sales
October 23, 2023: The monthly advance retail sales numbers for September showed continued strength, up 0.7% for the month in nominal terms and 3.0% for the year. We smooth the volatile series, account for inflation, and find particular strength in online business and weakness in home furnishings.
Bond Market Intimidation
October 9, 2023: Last week longer-dated Treasury yields hit highs not seen in over a decade. Longer-term yields are the transmission mechanism by which tighter monetary policy is likely to impact the economy and these moves bring us closer to impact.
October 2, 2023: The August inflation numbers looked good. Exactly how good depends where you look. Apart from surging energy prices, there were encouraging downward trends.
Striking the Inflation Target
September 25, 2023: Amidst persistent and excessive inflation, most of the world’s major central banks have sharply raised rates. Some have just shown a willingness to wait and see whether these hikes will suffice to knock inflation down.
Ocean Timeliness Indicator (OTI)
Flexport’s Ocean Timeliness Indicator measures the amount of time taken to ship freight from the point at which cargo is ready to leave the exporter to when it is collected from its destination port. The ocean shipping world tends to run along “trade lanes.” The two biggest trade lanes carry goods from Asia to North America and from Asia to Europe. The OTI captures timeliness on each of these. Last Update: January 8, 2024
Post-Covid Indicator (PCI)
Flexport’s Post-Covid Indicator measures the balance between U.S. consumers’ spending on goods versus services, now augmented with divides between durable and nondurable goods and between nominal and real (inflation-adjusted) figures. Last Update: December 18, 2023
Trade Activity Forecast (TAF)
Flexport’s Trade Activity Forecast augments traditional economic techniques for predicting U.S. merchandise imports with Flexport’s proprietary data. Details are provided for six industrial categories with versions available on seasonally adjusted and non-adjusted bases. Last Update: December 16, 2023