Stifel Logistics Confidence Index sinks to a 26-month low

September's most concerning figure comes from the Logistics Situation Index – at 49.4, the index indicated an erosion in confidence, likely based on a combination of China's slowing economy, general weakness in emerging markets and tepid global trade.


Stifel Logistics Confidence Index


The Stifel Logistics Confidence Index saw a fourth consecutive month of decline in September. While the Index, at 51.5, remains above the neutral 50 mark, times may be gloomier that the numbers alone suggest, according to the Index’s authors.

Not only has the Index reached its lowest point in some 26 months, it also recorded its fastest pace of decline since June 2014, a 2.6 point loss against the 54.1 recorded in August. September’s most concerning figure comes from the Logistics Situation Index – at 49.4, the index indicated an erosion in confidence, likely based on a combination of China’s slowing economy, general weakness in emerging markets and tepid global trade.

Perhaps more pressing on the agenda of the industry, though, will be the six-month outlook – a fall of 3.3 points brought the Logistics Expectations Index to 53.6, representing a loss of 9.6 index points in the last four months alone.

Indeed, the picture painted by the future-gazing Index gets even worse when expectations for the sea freight market are examined. The loss of 3.5 index points in a month put the Logistics Expectations Index for sea freight at 52.9, a mark some 12.2 points below the confidence levels of September 2014, according to the report. Combined with a Logistics Situation Index for sea freight of 49.8, it is perhaps little wonder that executives at Maersk Group’s Capital Markets Day suggested that container lines were “operating in an unhealthy industry.”