July’s Stifel Logistics Confidence Index, compiled by Transport Intelligence (Ti) slipped for a second consecutive month to 56.4. While it still remains higher than the same periods for 2013 and 2014, concerns over what the six month outlook may bring appears to be weighing on the market.
Ti noted that demand appears to be easing off as the IATA director general and CEO noted in a recent IATA press release that business confidence is flat and export orders are in decline. He further noted the uncertainty surrounding Greece’s relationship with the Eurozone.
And while the six month outlook may have had a negative effect on the Index, the overall present situation was positive, gaining 1.8 points from June to 53.7. The gain was led by sea freight, up 3.9 points to 50.7, the first time it is above the neutral 50 since April.
IATA’s latest air freight data for May indicates a slowing of tonnage growth. In fact, at 2.1 per cent year-over-year growth, it is the slowest this year. This slowing growth may be one reason why the present situation slipped 0.2 points, Ti said. This slip was due to the Europe-Asia lanes which declined 3.4 points to 55.6, while Asia to Europe fell 0.9 points to 51.9.
Meanwhile, the Europe-US lanes recorded positive present gains, up 2.2 points to 63.4 and after three months of contraction, the US to Europe lane gained 1.8 points to 50.7.
The six month outlook suggests the Index may fall 3.1 points. Worries over a Greek exit from the EU combined with ongoing sluggish economic growth appear to be among the reasons for this fall. As a result, all trade lanes noted declines with Europe to Asia and Asia to Europe each falling 3.7 points to 59.5 and 62.7 respectively. Europe to US declined 3.2 points to 61.3 and US to Europe slipped 1.2 points to 58.2.