America’s “Everything Shortage” Is Caused by… Americans?


Staff Content Writer

October 25, 2021 • 2 minutes read

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have heard about supply chain disruptions plaguing the world, especially in America. 

The phrase “everything shortage” has been generated as a response to product deficiency, and the inability to purchase all sorts of goods. From paper towels, milk, toys, and even certain groceries, consumers are meeting empty shelves no matter where they turn to. 

But in an issued statement Jack Kleinhenz, the NRF’s Chief Economist said that “spending might have been higher if not for shortages of items consumers are eager to purchase.” 

America has actually imported an immense amount of products over the past eight months, and it’s one of the reasons why this catastrophic supply chain congestion is happening. The Port of Los Angeles reported a 30% increase in imported cargo in the first nine months of this year, and many other ports are also breaking all-time import records and running out of warehouse space. 

Yet despite the dramatic increase in imports, the inventory to sales ratio hasn’t gone down. Sales have actually become more intense. 

Over the first nine months of 2021, retail sales were up 14.5% over the same time period of 2020. Businesses bought more inventory, and American consumers purchased them. Matthew Shay, NRF’s CEO, stated that “today’s retail sales data confirms the power of the consumer to spend, and we expect this to continue.” 

Supply chain professionals have joked that if demand for stuff slowed down, and if American consumers slowed down their purchasing, there could be a chance for the supply chain industry to recover faster. 

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