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(The Year 2012 In Review)
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|User Info||"It" Happened; entered at 2009-04-14 09:33:01|
An easy way to track consumer demand and the health of the economy - cardboard. Deflation is here.|
Q: What are the latest cardboard shipment figures telling us about our economy?
A: The patient is still sick and no sign of recovery has shown up in the box numbers so far.
According to the Fibre Box Association, shipments fell 3.5 percent in the second quarter of last year, compared with a year earlier. Then they fell 3.3 percent in the third quarter. After that, the bottom fell out: Shipments fell 9.9 percent in the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier.
This year corrugated box shipments have fallen, on a year-over-year basis, 5.1 percent in January and 8.3 percent in February. The numbers for March will be out in mid-April.
"There has been no improvement relative to the previous three months," Longbow Research analyst Joshua Zaret said. "March should show some seasonal improvement within a context of weak overall demand, but these are very poor numbers."