The trans-Pacific cutback was largely "driven by concern and uncertainty in the U.S." early in the third quarter, said CEO Scott Davis, on the company's earnings conference call Tuesday. "There was a lot of concern about a double-dip (and) people stopped buying" products from Asia and elsewhere.
As far as the economy, "I don't think it's as negative as it was two or three months ago," Davis said. "We are probably a little more optimistic than we were one or two months ago."
UPS is considered an important economic indicator because, at any moment, 2% of world gross domestic product and 6% of domestic GDP are being transported within its system.Davis said it is increasingly difficult to discern what will happen during Christmas season because, "holiday season is down to just a few weeks in December now" as consumers increasingly delay purchases to the last minute. Retailers have "less buildup of inventories headed into peak season," he said, so UPS could potentially benefit from December restocking. "We won't know until two weeks prior to Christmas," he said. FedEx (FDX) on Monday said
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