4 of Our Top 5 Imports Have Fallen in Price
The chart above shows the top five imports and exports at the Port of Los Angeles for 2010, based on the number of loaded containers. This Business Insider story points out that the top five U.S. exports are raw materials, while the top five imports are finished goods.
Something else about the top five imports that might be interesting is to compare the changes in the price indexes for those items over the last ten years (April 2001 to April 2010) to the overall change in the CPI during that period:
CPI: Furniture: -11.6%
CPI: Toys: -43.3%
CPI: Apparel: -7.2%
CPI: Footwear: 3.3%
CPI: Auto parts: +35.9%
It's probably not a coincidence that the top imports coming through the L.A. Port are some of the products that have fallen the most significantly in real price over the last decade, to the great benefit of America's consumers. Remember that countries don't trade with each other at the national level, people trade; and t's American consumers who are shopping globally for the best price and value. For furniture, clothing, footwear, and toys, cost-conscious American consumers are wisely taking advantage of the falling real prices for those items that are imported from overseas, and that bargain-hunting consumer behavior ("consumer greed") is being reflected in the import volumes at the L.A. Port.