During the early stages of the Covid pandemic, supply chain disruptions due to plant shutdowns and widespread employee shortages resulted in price increases as demand rapidly outweighed supply. Consumers have remained burdened with high prices on most goods, and prognosticators are predicting that costs will remain high or continue to increase moderately for the foreseeable future.
American importers pay a significant portion of the increase and US consumers pay the remainder due to the increase on goods manufactured in China. However, China’s economy is slowing, with consumers holding back and infrastructure spending slowing sharply. This slowdown is expected to worsen as America’s tariffs ramp up. On the other hand, the United States has continued to experience vigorous economic growth, including the lowest unemployment rate since 2000.
It seems these days, there are growing numbers of supply chain disruptors. From erratic thunderstorms to tornadoes, hurricanes and droughts; natural disasters still pose the greatest threat to retail disruption. As these uncontrollable events happen, we feel the effects throughout the economy which directly translates to retail.
On May 10, 2019, talks with China ended abruptly; we saw the market tumble more than 600 points. This past Friday, President Trump responded by adding a 25% tariff on $200 billion of Chinese goods, substantially increasing the tariffs from their prior 10%.