The Associated Press reports that growth in US household spending, which continues to outpace supply, has led experts to say global supply chain shortfalls and malfunctions could end by 2022 or 2023, unless Americans buy so much. don’t shut down. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer demand has been buoyed by factors such as lack of stimulus cash and thriving stock markets, in the US and much of the world.

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“The demand is completely skewed,” said Bindiya Vakil, CEO of Resilink, a supply chain management consulting firm. “It has become more painful now day by day.”

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But consumers are not the only ones to blame for the shortfall. Companies are actually ordering and stocking more materials and parts for fear of running out. This makes suppliers even thinner and is unlikely to ever catch on, while demand, especially for goods rather than services, is still roaring, the AP reported.

When inflation begins to push some items outside the threshold of the US budget, expect spending to slow down. Buoyed by food, gasoline and housing purchases, consumer prices have risen 6.2 percent over the past year and pushed inflation to its highest pace since 1990, according to the AP.

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While experts expect spending to ease eventually, manufacturers do not expect the interconnected pressures of demand, supply chain crises and inflation to ease for some time.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

A chronic shortage of computer chips has forced Ford Motor Company to reform its system of ordering parts that require a longer period from order to delivery to address deficiencies.

“It is highlighted that the “just-in-time” operating model prevalent in autos may not be the correct operating model,” Ford’s chief operating and product officer Howe Thai-Tang told analysts.

Smaller companies have also felt compelled to supply more and more so that they can still make products. Moriarty’s Gem Art near Chicago, a family business for 40 years, has been stocking gold, silver, and platinum to make necklaces and rings, desperate not to run out of supplies as holiday orders.

“We’re ordering a lot more than we actually order — just in case,” said marketing manager Jeff Moriarty.

Even a normal post-holiday shopping lull, although it may help, is not expected to be enough to close ports, speed up shipping traffic or allow factories to refill inventory. Is.

“The baseline expectation for recovery is around the middle of 2022,” said Oren Klachkin, chief US economist at Oxford Economics. “But I think the risk of this happening later is quite high.”

Although Americans have ventured faster in recent months, the balance between spending on goods and services remains skewed. The suppressed demand after the economic recovery is still skewed toward items such as furniture and cars and less toward haircuts, concerts and restaurant food. Although spending on services has increased in recent months, it is not enough to bridge the gap.

Since April 2020, consumer spending on goods has increased by 32 percent. It is now up 15 per cent where it was in February 2020, before the pandemic crippled the economy. Goods now account for about 40 per cent of consumer spending, up from 36 per cent before the pandemic.

American factories have tried hard to meet demand. According to the Federal Reserve, production increased nearly 5 percent over the previous year, despite periodic ups and downs, including disruptions in auto production due to chip shortages.

Imports have bridged the gap between what America’s consumers want and what its factories can produce. From January to September this year, the US imported 23 percent more than the same period in 2020. In September, due to rising imports, the US posted a record deficit in goods trade: imports topped exports at $98.2 billion.

Vaccination of more people in wealthier countries has led to a boom in extreme demand for the goods. Yet in poorer countries, particularly in Southeast Asia, the spread of the delta variant has forced new factory closures and reshuffling of supply chains in recent months. Only recently did it begin to heal.

Also, many American workers have decided to leave jobs that required frequent public contact. This created a shortage of workers to unload ships, transport goods or staff retail outlets.

The ports were closed. Last month, 65 ships waited to take off from the California coast at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach – two weeks’ worth of work. Average wait: 12 days. Despite round-the-clock port operations starting in October, with an average wait of around 17 days, it has since deteriorated to 78 ships.

LA port executive director Jean Cerocca said that before the pandemic, ships had scheduled arrivals and went straight to berths for disembarkation. Now, at a record high in Asian factory output, the port is pushing record levels of cargo. Yet this is not enough to meet the demand.

Seroca doesn’t expect shipments to ease next year either. Retailers have told them they plan to use the slow months of January and February — if they’re really slow — to replenish inventory.

Like ports, rail lines are carrying more goods. In early November, freight shipped by US railroads rose 7.5 percent from a year earlier. Truck shipments were up 1.7 percent in September. Yet there are not enough drivers or trucks to carry all the freight.

In China too, manufacturers are grappling with shipping delays, container shortages and escalating costs. Shantou Laimei International Ltd., a children’s toy maker in the city of Shantou, expects sales to drop by 30 percent this year due to delays and expensive shipping.

“The most serious problem for us is the inability to deliver goods on time due to difficulties in securing freight containers,” said Frank Xie, the company’s general manager. “Many things have gone beyond our control and expectation.”