Number of suppliers to U.S. shrinking
“Weakening demand in the U.S. is having economic repercussions around the globe,” said a firm that analyzes shipping data and provides businesses with information about suppliers.
Panjiva, which is based in New York and Boston, with offices in Shanghai and India, said its latest analysis shows the number of companies shipping to U.S. customers has shrunk13 percent to 156,000 companies at the end of 2008 from 179,000 companies in October 2007.
Five percent of that decline came in a single month from November to December 2008, said Josh Green, chief executive officer of Panjiva. “These numbers are not that surprising given the current economic environment. As consumers buy less, American businesses buy less from fewer overseas suppliers.”
He said the longer the downturn lasts, the more companies will be forced out of business.
Twelve percent of the companies that shipped to U.S. customers in December had suffered a massive decline in the volume shipped, moving 50 percent or less in the fourth quarter of 2008 than they had shipped in the fourth quarter of 2007, he said.
“It is these companies with the massive drop-off in the amount shipped to their American customers that we are most concerned about,” he said.