At their current pace of ordering merchandise from overseas, U.S. retailer imports could hit a four-year low this year, the National Retail Federation reports.
“The economy is recovering but retailers are being careful not to import more than they can sell,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Shelves will be stocked, but this is not the year to be left with warehouses full of unsold merchandise. The more Congress does to put spending money in consumers’ pockets and provide businesses with liquidity, the sooner we can get back to normal.”
June imports rose 4.9% compared to May but were down 10.5% compared to the same time last year, reflective of the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. At the current pace of importing, NRF projects an overall 9.4% reduction in imports by the end of the year compared to 2019.