The Economy of What Lingers: Inflation, Debt and COVID

The outbreak of the COVID pandemic has created chaos over the past two years. But some of the after-effects continue to linger for the economy. High inflation, high sovereign debt levels, and endemic COVID cases and variant disruptions have remained persistent parts of the economic landscape. But what comes next? Looking to the months ahead, addressing these lingering risks will be critical for the U.S. economy—and the outlook for material handling.

Inflation rates are high. In fact, inflationary pressures in late 2021 surged to the highest levels since 1982. The pace of inflation rose sharply due to a year-on-year base effect. But that was nowhere near the entire story. High month-on-month consumer price increases were also critical factors supporting inflation in 2021. Plus, the factors behind monthly inflation were significant and varied, including strong U.S. and global goods demand, limited production capacity and extensive supply chain issues. Inflation has remained high due to lingering supply chain tightness…

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