In the before times, pre-pandemic, Carl Kuo took a regular trip to Costco to buy gloves by the thousands.
Kuo is the owner of Mission Ink Tattoo & Piercing in San Francisco. He said his artists typically go through four or five pairs of gloves for each tattoo they do, while they set up their work stations, tear them down, and create art in between.
“Now they just have zero stock. Whenever [gloves] come in, they’ll be gone within an hour,” he told Insider. “And this is, what, July? Months into COVID.”
Kuo is one of three tattoo and piercing shop owners who told Insider that they’re still seeing serious shortages and skyrocketing prices for items their shops use daily, crucial supplies like gloves and disinfectant. Combined with a year of frequent shut-downs and restrictions on their operations, supplies scarcities are just another frustrating cost of doing business.
“We’re fighting with the healthcare providers, who rightfully should have first dibs on everything,” Kuo said.
‘You can’t just use less’
The shortages come at a time when business is booming for the tattoo and piercing industry.
Shop owners recently told Insider that they’re busier than they’ve ever been and that people are lining up down the block to get a new piercing or tattoo to memorialize loved ones who died during the pandemic, or simply to feel alive again after a year in isolation. According to IBIS World analysts, the $1.2 billion tattoo artist industry is expected to increase its market size by 6.6% this year.
Paul Stoll, the owner of a piercing shop called Body Manipulations, also in San Francisco, told Insider he’s noticed a surge in demand, but that “the numbers can also be askew” – for instance, a box of gloves that typically cost him $8 is now $45, a cost he’s had to pass on to his customers.
“If you’re good at business, you have to raise your price a little bit. You have to account for that,” he said.
Kuo said that during particularly lean times supplies-wise, he’s had to resort to other means of getting what he needs: One of his piercers wears extra-small gloves, and when he couldn’t find any in stock, he had a friend in Los Angeles FedEx him a box to tide him over.
Kuo said he’s also had to raise prices for piercings and tattoos, especially in light of jewelry suppliers raising theirs: Everything from implant-grade stainless steel to titanium to gold has gotten more expensive, he said.
Paul Collurafici, the owner of Tattoo Factory in Chicago, said he’s also had a hard time finding gloves, and is seeing a significant spike in prices: A case of 12 boxes of gloves used to cost him $50 – “now you’re lucky to find a case for $200,” he said.
Collurafici is seeing prices continue to soar for other essential items as well. A large pack of paper towels, which he said his shop goes through “like crazy,” used to cost him $14.99, but now runs him upwards of $49. Cavicide, a surface disinfectant that kills bacteria and viruses, now costs as much him as $30 a gallon, up from $7.
There are also limits on how many cases of the solution suppliers will sell him, which has made tracking it down “a never-ending job.”
“We need a certain amount,” he said. “You can’t just use less.”
It’s a common refrain right now: No one wants to work. It’s a twist in the story of a not-quite-post-pandemic economy that left millions of people unemployed, as understaffed businesses struggle to hire and workers quit en-masse.
But, as always, the economy is complex, and so are the myriad of people who keep it running. A simple phrase doesn’t capture all of the complexities of why people may or may not be working. If you want to inject some nuance into your next conversation about the labor shortage, here’s what to know.
The pandemic is still going on
If the Delta variant has taught us anything, it’s that COVID is still spreading – and it’s still impacting the economy.
For instance, childcare – or lack thereof – has emerged as one potential driver keeping parents out of the workforce. With schools and daycares shuttered, some parents left their jobs to provide care. Others may have lost their roles, and delayed searching for new ones while their kids were at home. Either way, they may not have returned to the workforce yet.
Sociologist Jessica Calarco tweeted recently about the challenges facing parents as children remain unvaccinated and variants spread, noting that classrooms and daycares may have to temporarily shutter as cases come up.
“Given that kids aren’t going to be eligible for vaccines any time soon, and with Delta spreading rapidly, we should expect a whole lot more of this to come. I won’t be surprised if we end up with a whole bunch more 2-week gaps (or longer) in childcare this fall,” she wrote.
COVID fears have also kept some older workers out of the workforce. They were disproportionately impacted by job losses early in the pandemic, and some have called it quits and retired altogether.
Fed Gov. Lael Brainard said that labor shortages should fade by fall as schools reopen and fears abate, along with federal unemployment benefits.
Workers are taking advantage of more options
A huge amount of workers are quitting their jobs, which seems counterintuitive. In May, 3.6 million workers quit their jobs – but it may be because they are taking advantage of new opportunities.
Wages in industries that are having difficulty staffing up – like leisure and hospitality – are on the rise, but they’re still relatively low compared to other fields. Dr. William Spriggs, an economics professor at Howard University and chief economist at the AFL-CIO, previously told Insider that “workers who are employed are finding ways to get jobs in the sectors that are expanding and hiring.” Those sectors might offer higher wages, or at least more consistency than their prior roles.
It’s what Insider’s Aki Ito calls The Great Reshuffle: An unprecedented labor market, coupled with a rethinking of what workers want out of both work and life, has led many to exit their positions or seek out new ones. The market out there for workers is competitive, and many are finding higher salaries or better positions as they depart their old roles.
And yes, some workers may not be returning because they’re benefiting from enhanced unemployment benefits. As Insider previously reported, the consistent pay from unemployment – as well as the fact that it’s higher than what some workers made before – has caused some to rethink work.
“I just think that UI has just at least fixed everyone’s brain enough to see how f—ed up the wages are,” Matt Mies, an unemployed 28-year-old, previously told Insider.
But, as always, the picture is still nuanced. Many workers will find themselves cut off completely – including those who have been frantically searching for work.
Gas prices will be the highest they’ve been in nearly seven years and some gas stations may not even have any, CNN reported.
The average cost for a regular gallon is the highest since October 2014 at about $3.10.
GasBuddy Head of Petroleum Analysis Patrick de Hann said that the high price is likely to remain high after the holiday weekend.
Additionally, a shortage of tank truck drivers who drive gas to stations could mean some stations may not have any gas at all.
Tom Kloza, global head of energy analysis for the Oil Price Information Service, told CNN the shortages are spread out across the country.
“It used to be an afterthought for station owners to schedule truck deliveries. Now it’s job No. 1,” Kloza told CNN. “What I’m worried about for July is the increased demand works out to about 2,500 to 3,000 more deliveries needed every day. There just aren’t the drivers to do that.”
De Hann said the demand for oil is still the same, so the lack of gas at stations is simply due to the shortage of drivers.
More than 47 million Americans are expected to travel by car this July 4 weekend, AAA is forecasting.
Klonza told CNN that not finding gas at stations could mean people start topping off their tanks more frequently, which may in and of itself cause a shortage down the line.
Last month, the US Federal Reserve acknowledged that businesses and banks in various parts of the country were once again having a hard time getting their hands on enough quarters, nickels, dimes, and pennies.
But this time is different.
“Since mid-June of 2020, the U.S. Mint has been operating at full production capacity,” the bank said. Last year the Mint produced 14.8 billion coins, up 24% from the year before.
It’s not a shortage, per se, but that doesn’t explain why you can’t get a roll of quarters to do your laundry.
To find out, the Fed and other partners did what they do best: convened a task force.
The US Coin Task Force discovered that of the roughly $48.5 billion of metal currency in circulation, much is “sitting dormant” in the pockets, jars, and couch cushions of America’s 128 million households.
In other words, there are more than enough coins in existence, they just aren’t flowing smoothly thought the economy. Money, as you may recall, serves three key functions: a unit of account, a store of value, and a medium of exchange.
“The weak circulation affects most everyone, but the hardest hit are small cash-dependent businesses and those who are least well off,” task force member Hannah vL. Walker said in a statement. “For millions of Americans, cash is the only form of payment.”
Right now, the dormant coins are performing the first two roles just fine and failing at the third. The problem for the Mint is that it can’t arbitrarily make more coins available without causing a lot of other problems in the US monetary system.
The tack force recommends an even simpler solution: break open that piggy bank.
“If just a fraction of the coin sitting dormant in households and businesses is redeemed and reused, this problem can be greatly reduced,” the task force said.
By spending, depositing, or converting unneeded coins, the Mint said consumers can help close the circulation loop that has been disrupted over the past year and get a small but important part of the market moving again.
If you’re in the market for a used car, be prepared for some sticker shock. Prices are projected to have skyrocketed again in May, and that boom is probably going to be a primary driver of increased inflation.
A note by a group of UBS researchers, led by Alan Detmeister, forecast a 10.8% price increase. That’s even higher than April’s record-breaking surge of 10%.
Those pre-owned cars are adding significant mileage to inflation in the US. UBS projects that core Consumer Price Index (CPI) will have another “massive” rise in May; simply put, that means things got even more expensive. That follows a 13-year high in April. In both April and May, the increase is “heavily driven” by used car prices, according to UBS.
“With pressures on the used car market, along with returning demand for travel, we expect further increases in these categories in the coming months,” the UBS researchers write. They also expect “solid” price increases for new cars and apparel.
Another shortage could be holding up economic recovery
Last week brought the May jobs report, which tracked payroll gains for the month. It showed signs of labor-market acceleration, as Insider’s Ben Winck reported, with the unemployment rate dropping. However, the number of payrolls added came in below expectations.
A separate UBS note from researchers led by Andrew Dubinsky said jobs are rebounding slower than expected because of shortages – “temporary labor supply bottlenecks implied by strong wage gains are slowing growth.” For instance, the youngest workers, who are 16 to 24, saw declines, which UBS attributes to them potentially returning for in-person schooling.
So something else is getting more expensive: The amount that workers get paid. Employers are forking over more money to try and get workers to join their workforce.
As the UBS researchers write, “Annualized leisure wage growth of around 20% in the past three months suggest the recovery is being held back by labor supply.” That wage growth signals that labor-market-supply issues will be temporary, UBS said.
But it’s not just a matter of wages keeping people out of the workforce. Some unemployed workers are rethinking work and what they want out of it, while others struggle with a labor mismatch – the jobs that are open don’t necessarily fit with their skills, or previous experience. Despite all of that, it doesn’t appear that increased unemployment benefits kept workers from returning in May. In 25 GOP-led states, governors have prematurely announced an end to federal benefits to get workers back, but, as Insider’s Ayelet Sheffey reported, they returned regardless.
And, of course, there’s still an ongoing pandemic. UBS, which is “optimistic” about labor force participation in the coming months, notes COVID fears may subside. That’s one factor that may have been keeping older workers from returning.
Costco’s famous $4.99 rotisserie chickens are getting more expensive for the store to stock, according to Chief Financial Officer Rich Galanti.
Inflation and rising costs are making nearly everything more expensive for consumers, from meat and cheese to electronics. Big box stores like Costco aren’t immune to these higher costs, some of which may be passed on to customers, Insider’s Áine Caine reported.
Costco is under “inflationary pressures,” Galanti said in an earnings call, including “higher labor costs, higher freight costs, higher transportation demand, along with the container shortage and port delays,” along with widespread shortages.
The price of a rotisserie chicken should stay the same for customers, though Galanti says “there’s been some pressure on some cost components of these items. So those are already impacting our margins a little.” The chickens were already sold at a loss for Costco – the $4.99 price has remained the same since 2009, even as costs of labor and production have increased.
“When others were raising their chicken prices from $4.99 to $5.99, we were willing to eat, if you will, $30 [million] to $40 million a year in gross margin by keeping it at $4.99,” Galanti said in 2015. The chickens are sold at a loss, but they, along with gas and food court items, draw customers into stores where they might make other more profitable purchases.
The rotisserie chickens are also a Costco staple. The big box store sold 87 million in 2017, and 91 million in 2018. To keep costs as low as possible, Costco opened the $450 million facility in Nebraska in 2019, which processes about 2 million chickens a week, with plans to eventually supply nearly half of the chain’s total chickens.
The pandemic caused a surge in home-improvement projects at the worst possible time and many companies are still struggling to keep up with backlogs of projects.
Over 44% of home improvement plans in the US have been delayed due to supply shortages and skyrocketing material costs, according to data from market research firm, Cardify.ai, a company that uses transactional data to generate reports on consumer spending.
Steve Cunningham the CEO of Cunningham Contracting and the chair of the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) Remodelers Council said his projects are being delayed by months due to the limited availability of materials, as well as laborers. Data from the NAHB Remodeling Market Index indicates that, on average, home improvement projects are facing 1-2 months of delays.
“A lot of remodelers have more business in front of them than they can service,” NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz told Insider.
John Bitely, the president of Sable Homes, a home-building company based out of Rockford, Michigan, told Insider that in 30 years of business he’s never seen such demand.
“We usually build houses to sell them,” Bitely said. “We have virtually none of those available right now because all of our labor and production is fully absorbed with creating pre-sold homes. Every home we’re making is already sold because people are chomping at the bit for these new homes and we can’t build our way out of it.”
Bitely said Sable Homes faces delays from the very beginning of a project, as government agencies have been slow to give out the necessary home-building permits, adding at least two weeks to the waiting process.
Josh Wiener, the founder of home-improvement firm Silver Lining Inc, told Insider it’s been difficult to get projects approved due to the COVID-19 regulations in New York City.
Once a project starts it can get stuck midway through
Supply shortages have been unpredictable in recent months. Cunningham told Insider he’s had projects where a kitchen remodel has been held up by the availability of the dishwasher model or refrigerator. Contractors currently expect to wait an extra 3-4 weeks for appliances to be delivered due to shipping delays and the global computer chip shortage, Cunningham said.
There have been times when Sable Homes has been forced to pivot from one project to another, as contractors wait on vinyl siding or plumbing pipes. Bitely said the company tries to compensate by ordering products well ahead of schedule, but they never quite know what products will be in short supply.
“The biggest problem is the shortage is random so it’s very difficult to fix or nail down,” Bitely told Insider. “Because it’s impacting nearly every facet of the supply chain, it will be difficult to make it go away.”
While kitchen appliances have been heavily impacted by the global semiconductor chip shortage, other products like paint and vinyl siding are also in short supply due to the Texas freeze. Though, Dietz says the skyrocketing lumber prices are one of the biggest hurdles home-building and improvement companies are struggling to overcome.
“Lumber is a big component of any home project,” Dietz said. “It’s adding about $36,000 to new single family homes and it’s driving remodeling prices higher.”
Home-improvement projects are sure to be more expensive
It’s difficult to predict how much a project will cost.
Cunningham told Insider that his company has an escalation clause in their contract that the material costs may be subject to change. Bitely said he sees prices fluctuate every few weeks.
“As a company, there’s nothing we can do but pass those prices through to the customer,” Bitely said. “We set up the expectation early on that prices are changing and the project may be subject to delays and for the most part customers are not deterred.”
Other companies have been forced to eat the rising material costs without an escalation clause in their contracts. Wiener said his company has been forced to pay for 100% of costs that are outside of the initial budget. He said Silver Lining has been lucky in that as a bigger firm they have been able to overcome the cost hurdles, while smaller firms might be forced out of business.
Despite delays and rising costs, demand shows no signs of dampening
“Right now, most clients are still going through with buying because they’re desperate for house. They have no other choice,” Bitely said.
Home-building and improvement delays and price spikes are not expected to abate anytime soon. On Thursday, Kyle Little, chief operating officer of Sherwood Lumber, told CNBC he expects elevated lumber prices to continue into the “foreseeable future.”
“It’s really imperative that policymakers improve these supply chains,” Dietz told Insider. “Lumber affordability is key to housing affordability.”
Though meteorologists aren’t predicting the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June through November, will be as record-breaking as 2020, they’re saying the number of named storms and hurricanes will be higher than in a normal year.
DTN, a Minnesota-based analytics firm, is predicting 20 named storms, compared to the annual average of 12. Of those, nine will be hurricanes, and four will be major hurricanes of category 3 or stronger. AccuWeather had similar predictions of 16 to 20 named storms, seven to 10 becoming hurricanes, and three to five to becoming major hurricanes.
The economic impact from last year’s hurricane season, which had six category 3 or higher storms, was about $60 to $65 billion in damage and losses, according to AccuWeather.
“The combination of another enhanced hurricane season and the threat of landfall across a big section of the East Coast of the US this year will be disruptive to the supply chain,” said Renny Vandewege, a leading weather expert at DTN.
Vandewege said the storms are more likely to favor the East Coast this year, compared to 2020, when the Gulf Coast felt a heavier impact.
The storms could “disrupt really anything that’s being imported in,” Vandewege said.
“We’re already having a months-long backup at the Port of Los Angeles, and then if we had also the same thing on the East Coast for an extended period of time, it could phenomenally exacerbate product shortages,” said Chris Wolfe, chief executive officer of logistics company PowerFleet.
Storms affect a state’s big industries, too. Along the Texas gulf coast, hurricanes can have an impact on the chemical and the oil and gas industries. A storm there could echo issues that arose from the Texas freeze in February and the six-day Colonial Pipeline shutdown that caused gas prices to surge and prompted some East Coast residents to panic-buy gas.
The forestry industry could be “deeply impacted” as well, Vandewege said. “There’s been shortage on building materials, and that could be enhanced even more if we’re seeing key manufacturing areas shut down around Louisiana and Alabama” because of a hurricane.
Pork, which is heavily produced in North Carolina and other southern states, has faced shortages in the past year, as well, thanks to the pandemic.
When hurricanes, like Florence in 2018, have struck the state in the past, thousands of hogs died. Other livestock and agriculture are also at risk when hurricanes hit.
“There’s huge pork production, chicken production, all the way through the South,” Wolfe said, so storms “could dirsupt food supplies.”
Porter from AccuWeather also noted that the West Coast could see another damaging wild fire season, and he said companies have to prepare ahead of time. “It’s a significant risk that all businesses need to be thinking about right now,” he said. “What’s their vulnerabilities and plan to mitigate.”
Climate change and extreme weather events topped the World Economic Forum’s list of biggest global risks in 2020. That was no surprise to Porter, who said, “people are getting negatively impacted almost on a daily basis by weather events. He said for businesses, the supply chain is a “major component” of that.
Everywhere you look, there seems to be a new shortage popping up in America’s currently very strange economy. From chicken to gas, it’s getting harder to come by items as supply-chain issues, outsized demand, and the climate crisis all converge to choke accessibility.
But as Americans learn to live in a new normal yet again – this time with vaccines, fewer masks, and slightly eased pandemic-era restrictions – demand for things like travel and hotels is on the rise. With a long weekend coming up, Americans are ready to get back into the world. But the economy may not be ready for them: Here are the shortages that could plague Memorial Day weekend.
Vacation-home rentals in the US are at an all-time high this year.
More people are looking to travel as the vaccination rate increases. In the US, 65% of people plan to travel more this year than before the pandemic started and 82% of families have already made vacation plans, according to online rental hub Vrbo.
If you haven’t rented out a vacation home yet, it might be too late to find one this year: 85% of vacation rentals in Cape Cod, the Outer Banks, and along the Jersey shore, are booked through August, Vrbo said.
It’s not just vacation and rental homes seeing a surge: Hotels and motels saw their costs increase by 8.8% in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
CNBC reports that nightly prices are on the rise, and are likely only to increase as summer travel goes into full swing. In fact, prices in coveted areas, like beaches, have soared above pre-pandemic levels.
While some industries say they’re struggling to find workers and staff up, the leisure and hospitality sector actually saw notable gains in April’s jobs report. While the report came in far below expectations — with just 266,000 jobs added, instead of the expected 1 million — leisure and hospitality emerged the strongest.
Prior to the cyberattack last weekend, prices were not expected to see another significant spike until after Memorial Day, when travel is expected to push demand even higher at the end of the month.
But, even before the pipeline was shut down, gas prices were skyrocketing as demand outstrips dwindling fuel supplies. In April, fuel prices leaped 9% in their largest one-month increase in nine years as shipping container shortages, port delays, and OPEC production cuts made the commodity increasingly valuable.
A new or used car
If you wanted to buy a car for that summer road trip you’ve been planning since March 2020, you may find yourself up against some fierce competition — and ever-increasing prices.
New cars are in short supply due to an ongoing shortage of the computer chips that power everything from the Bluetooth in cars to iPads, and their scarcity has been felt all over the economy. Some car manufacturers had to halt production at the start of the year, leading to more elusive models and higher prices.
That’s trickled down into the used-car market. In April, used car prices jumped by 10%. Insider’s Ben Winck reported that that was the largest one-month increase since 1953, when data first started to get collected. In fact, that price jump accounted for around a third of April’s big 0.8% jump in inflation from the previous month.
Experts attribute the shortage to demand for vehicles, especially as new cars are harder to come by, and rental car services attempting to rebuild fleets; many sold off some of their cars at the onset of the pandemic.
In hot tourist destinations, prices are surging; Jonathan Weinberg, the founder and CEO of AutoSlash, told Chang that some rental cars in Hawaii are going for over $500 a day — a massive increase from the usual $50. And rental car companies are expecting strong demand over the summer for their reduced fleets, all while coming up against the computer chip shortage.
But vacation goers might still find it expensive and difficult to get around if they’re counting on rideshare drivers. Uber and Lyft have been trying to lure drivers back to work with new incentives, but there’s still a persistent driver shortage. That’s due to a variety of factors, as drivers worry about safety and find stability in enhanced stimulus benefits.
If you’re planning on jetsetting over Memorial Day weekend, you may find the shockingly low flight prices of the pandemic have vanished.
That’s not to say there aren’t deals, as airlines unleashed a week of wild international flight deals in April; the risk with those, as Insider’s Tom Pallini reported, is that it’s unclear if those countries will be open to American visitors.
But, as the Washington Post reports, it could be a different story for domestic flights, especially over the summer. Rising demand and fares could be concentrated over the summer, as Americans race to take advantage of the weather and newly loosened pandemic restrictions.
Adit Damodaran, an economist at travel booking app Hopper, told Insider’s Jamie Ditaranto that demand is concentrated around late May and early June — and that prices may rise by 15%.
Bacon and hot dogs
Memorial Day barbeques will be impacted by the supply snags.
Bacon and hot dogs may be difficult to find in grocery stores, due to a global pig shortage. The hog industry has faced several setbacks this past year. High instances of swine decimated hog populations this past winter and COVID-19 outbreaks in at least 167 meat-processing plants forcing almost 40 plants to close as of June 2020.
It will be more expensive to celebrate the holiday with fireworks this year.
Superior Fireworks announced they were increasing their prices about 15% this year — the highest the company has ever had to hike prices in its 20-year history.
The company is one of many fireworks producers that have been forced to raise prices in order to compensate for higher shipping and production costs.
Vacationers looking to relax in the pool during the holiday weekend may face difficulty finding clean pools.
Last month CNBC reported the US is facing the worst chlorine shortage in history. Prices for the chemical used to clean pools has nearly doubled this past year and is only expected to continue to rise with warm weather.
Pool owners can avoid the shortage by using saltwater pools instead, according to Insider’s Annabelle Williams.
Imported goods like wine and cheese
Vacationers will pay top dollar for imported food.
Good from overseas, including seafood, cheese, and wine are facing months of shipping delays. Some grocery stores, including Costco have already reported shortage of imported food, while other companies have already begun to hike prices in response.
Semiconductor chips are in almost everything these days.
As Glenn O’Donnell, a vice president at Forrester Research, put it, “if it has a plug or a battery, it is probably full of chips.”
The global chip shortage that is jamming up auto manufacturers is rippling across nearly every industry that makes or uses tech-enabled products.
In particular, analysts say the boom in cloud computing and cryptocurrency mining, as well as the embedding of smart features in everything from doorbells to dishwashers, has led to a gold rush in the sector.
But a combination of factors have pinched the supply as demand continues ramping up, leading to severe shortages that industry leaders and analysts say could drag out into 2023.
“We are looking at couple of years… before we get enough incremental capacity online to alleviate all aspects of the chip shortage,” IBM President Jim Whitehurst told the BBC. His company licenses microprocessor technology to the world’s leading chip makers.
Last week, Reinhard Ploss, CEO of German chipmaker Infineon, told CNBC his industry has never seen conditions like these, but that two years to normal seemed “too long.”
Other firms have painted even rosier forecasts – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), the largest chip maker, said it expects to catch up with auto industry demand next month, and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, told the BBC the shortage would wind down later this year.
Analysts, however, are skeptical.
“Because demand will remain high and supply will remain constrained, we expect this shortage to last through 2022 and into 2023,” O’Donnell wrote on a Forrester blog. “We see nothing but boom times ahead for chip demand.”
“It’s not just autos. It’s phones. It’s the internet of everything. There’s so many goods now that have many more chips than they ever did in the past,” he said. “They’re all internet enabled.”
New production is coming online, with a $20 billion spend from Intel and a $28 billion investment from TSMC, but that does little to solve the immediate challenge facing the market right now.
Nobody is literally filling trash bags or gas cans with semiconductors, but Credit Suisse’s director of global economies and strategy, Wenzhe Zhao, said last week that inventory hoarding along the production chain is making a tight supply situation even worse.
For now, Forrester’s O’Donnell recommends tech buyers be patient, pay more, pick an alternative product or service, or make do with older tools until things return to normal.