Research Briefing | May 13, 2022

Supply chains navigate a difficult environment

Supply chain conditions remained highly strained in April, though cooling goods demand helped ease pressures modestly. Inflation stress increased for a fourth straight month. Challenges within logistics eased according to our tracker, but we take this reading with a grain of salt since the improvement was partly artificial as China’s lockdowns slowed trade flows at US ports and weighed on business activity. Meanwhile, news from the labor and activity fronts was encouraging, and inventory dynamics modestly improved.

What you will learn:

  • Higher goods and services prices raised inflationary pressures in April.
  • The number of cargo ships waiting to unload at LA and Long Beach fell for a third straight month, down 13%.
  • Labor market challenges eased as the economy created a buoyant 428k jobs, overtime hours declined, and wage gains moderated.

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