According to the Federal Reserve, U.S. household wealth rose to a record high of $141.7 trillion in the second quarter of 2021. Contributing factors are the increase in real estate values and stock prices.

Difficulties in finding enough workers to operate 24/7 in the busy Los Angeles and Long Beach ports is just one of the factors contributing to supply chain problems. Besides a shortage of workers, congestion at the ports from a pileup of containers makes it hard for drivers to navigate ports. Drivers can’t always find trucks or the chassis needed to transport shipping containers. With West coast warehouses full, some cargo owners are simply leaving their containers at the port as mobile storage. Moving to a 24/7 schedule at the ports and across all parts of the supply chain, including rail, trucking, and warehousing as is done in other parts of the world could alleviate the problem, but disagreements about scheduling on top of a shortage of workers have so far made that nearly impossible.

The fast-spreading delta variant of COVID-19 has slowed global economic recovery, but won’t stop it, according to the latest forecast from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Back in May, the OECD forecast that the U.S. economy would grow by 6.9% in 2021; that forecast has now been reduced to 6%. The rapid spread of the delta variant in Asian countries is contributing to shortages of manufactured goods and parts, which can lead to bottlenecks that result in shortages for retailers.

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