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    MARKET EDGES

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Here's a pretty massive datapoint on one of our key themes for 2H09 - import prices and the subsequent impact on the supply chain.  Import prices for apparel had a huge drop off in the latest reported data -- down 5.85% after last month's down 3.4%.  Last time it was down this much was November 2005 (down 7%) and after that, October 2002 (prolonged period of -6% to -8%). Most notable is that the CPI is still hovering at +1%. Consumer prices up, import prices down...it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is a positive margin event for the apparel retail supply chain.  Thanks McGough... but these datapoints are only for the month of April...I'm already starting to make July 4th barbecue plans.  Yeah... I get that. But this morning we see that unit imports from China are up 15%, and Vietnam are up 10% last month while total imports from all countries globally are down 8%. Translation, total imports are down, so inventories will remain in check. But the countries that are disproportionately gaining share (at an accelerating rate) are the ones that are cutting price. Bottom line: declining imports AND prices is a great setup for margins in 2H. Yet another reason why I find it tough to be bearish.

A Theme You Can’t Ignore - 1

A Theme You Can’t Ignore - 2