The forecast for retail Supply chains and global consumer demand for Q3 and the rest of this year has shifted from full-speed recovery too uncertain. New strains of Covid-19 such as the Delta variant are driving this unknown. For now, it’s Asia that is feeling the pain, but with winter coming, North America and Europe could see further lockdowns and unstable supply chains.
Below are some highlights from the Q3 2021 Retail Sourcing Report.
• While many economies had strong Q2 results, led by China, Q3 saw less demand and more supply chain obstacles, such as delays in shipments and high shipping costs.
• Both China and the US, the two largest economies, have analysts concerned, with inflation and unstable consumer demand, the biggest questions.
• While near-sourcing locations in Eastern Europe, Turkey, and South America have enjoyed record demand and output, South-East Asia is seeing a rapid spread of Covid variants, with low vaccination rates a concern.
Our best hope is that the new variants will cycle through quickly, with spikes in cases, followed by rapid recovery, as happened in some European countries. For places with low vaccination rates though, like some US states, the pandemic is likely to drag on.
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