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Accelerating retail shipping surge in October carries risk of inventory overbuild

China 2600 Cons. Discr. - Apparel 372 Cons. Discr. - Durables 342 Cons. Discr. - Retailing 309 Coronavirus 428 European Union 658 Trade Balance 866 U.S. 4625

The surge in U.S. seaborne imports seen in September has likely continued in October with shipments in the first 15 days of October having jumped by 17.8% year over year. That’s been led by a 33.0% jump in imports from China, accelerating from the 17.7% rise for September as a whole. Shipments from Europe dropped by 10.2% in the first half of October, reversing earlier gains on lower auto parts and beer shipments. Consumer discretionary goods led the surge in total U.S. import shipments in October, possibly as retailers try to pre-empt an earlier-than-normal shopping season. Recent polli...

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