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Good News: U.S. West Coast Supply Chain Backlog May “Never Clear”

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It’s because you darned Americans want your stuff, you know

Supply-chain backlogs may `never’ clear as long as U.S. consumer demand persists, says RBC Capital Markets

Insatiable demand for goods by American consumers heading into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic is leading to a scenario in which supply-chain bottlenecks may “never” let up, absent major infrastructure improvements at the U.S.’s two busiest ports, based on an analysis by RBC Capital Markets.

In a report released Thursday, Michael Tran, RBC’s head of digital intelligence strategy, and others concluded that “the supply chain stretching from Asia to California is simply not constructed to handle the current level of consumer demand for goods,” and that overwhelming demand “was the crux of the problem.”

“If demand for goods remains elevated in perpetuity, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will never fully clear the logistical hurdles required to untangle the supply chain,” and “the supply chain will never normalize, barring significant infrastructure investments,” they wrote. The Port of Los Angeles is the nation’s No. 1 container port, followed by the Port of Long Beach, the second-busiest — accounting for almost 40% of the country’s imported goods as of November.

Is demand any higher than before the Wuhan flu started? I wonder how many consumers are just holding off because there aren’t as many products available, be they TVs, cars, computers, etc? And there just aren’t the sales like normal. I’d like a Dolby Atmos soundbar, which is at least 3.1. Where there were about 80 at a couple weeks ago, now there are less than 50. Is the Government supposed to create a whole new port in California, Oregon, or Washington? How long will that take? Years? Perhaps the Biden admin should focus on getting stuff off ships, on trucks, and getting it out of the ports. Get waivers for truckers who aren’t compliant with California’s insane ‘climate change’ requirements for a short period.

The findings are significant because they would imply that the highest U.S. inflation rate in almost 40 years could run for much longer and may not ease up even if COVID-19 cases fall off. By focusing on consumer demand, RBC raises the notion of a more permanent dilemma that isn’t yet being factored into the thinking of financial markets or Federal Reserve policy makers, who expect their preferred inflation gauge, the personal-consumption expenditures price index, to drift back toward 2% by 2024 and in the longer run.

You know one thing: when Brandon loses in 2024 whichever Republican wins will put all their focus on the economy.

RBC’s math suggests that U.S. consumer spending would need to be curbed by 15% over 10 months to “untangle the congestion” and put the PCE price gauge “back on the long-term trend line.” Spending on consumer goods, however, is roughly about 20% higher than it was before the pandemic, according to the report.

How much of that 20% is due to prices being way up? It’s just a little thing, but, the 12 pack of Lidl brand cola I buy used to be around $2.45. Now it’s $3.18. How much is consumer purchasing of products down? I couldn’t find a winter jacket the other day. Very limited supply. That’s something I want to buy in person, not off the Internet. So, I’ll hold off. New shoes? Limited. So, I’ll hold off. How many are forgoing purchases for vacations because they aren’t taking one? Nothing is really getting better, thanks in part to Joe’s counterproductive policies.


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