Afternoon Coffee: US Imports Rise During First Half of 2015, June Wholesale Inventories Increased Kaitlyn McAvoy - August 11, 2015 12:18 PM | Categories: Afternoon Coffee | Tags: General News US imports grew 6.5% during the first half of the year, reaching 8.9 million 20-foot equivalent units. However, analysts from the National Retail Federation expect imports to grow less (4.2%) during the second half of 2015 due to ongoing impacts of the West Coast port slowdown. US wholesale inventory data for June was released earlier today, showing inventories increased 0.9%, more than the 0.4% expected. The rise is due to an increase in oil prices pushing up the value of petroleum stocks as well as a surge in farm products. The Panama Canal has to impose a new size restriction on ships traveling through the waterway due to falling water levels caused by the El Nino weather pattern and droughts. As of Sept. 8, the maximum draft for ships traveling the canal will fall from 39.5 feet to 39 feet, but could fall again to 38.5 feet by Sept. 16. The National Federation of Independent Business’ small-business optimism index rose 1.3 points in July to hit 95.4. The increase comes after a decline in the index during May and June. SIGN UP for the Spend Matters newsletter Dirty Rotten Spendrels Discuss this: Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.