Americans are buying everything they can get their hands on, and they’d be buying even more if it weren’t for those pesky supply-chain snarls, according to the National Retail Federation. Jack Kleinhenz, the NRF’s chief economist, said in a statement,
Spending might have been higher if not for shortages of items consumers are eager to purchase.
Those shortages seem so ubiquitous that the term “everything shortage” is now being used liberally to describe consumers’ frustration as they try to get goods of all sorts: paper towels, milk, toys, and more. Yet claims that the country is running short on everything miss a key point.
America has, in fact, imported an immense amount of stuff in the past eight months. And that’s part of the reason we’re in the midst of an epic supply-chain congestion.