What’s happening this month in the industrial sector? Read on, as the GCP team examines recent price movements, economic trends and news, from around North America.
Included below are a few points highlighted from the report,
- Rubber-based products continue to remain at elevated prices due to product scarcity coupled with continued high demand.
- After a year in which ocean freight rates continued to set new highs, rates have started to decline (slightly) as we enter Q2 2022.
- Three of the four elements that affect the trucking market are pointing in a positive direction. Inbound container shipments are down. Load post volume is down, and truck capacity is up. On the flip side, fuel prices remain near all-time highs.
- U.S. ports are bracing for another surge in supply-chain backlogs. There’s been a lull in trade flows since China has lockdown major trade hub cities, including Shanghai and Shenzhen, in an attempt to curb their latest wave of COVID-19 cases.
- The most recent The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) survey stated that 72% of small business owners said they raised prices last month. A further 51% of owners plan to raise prices soon.
- Business inventories remain lean, order backlogs are elevated, and demand continues to outstrip supply. Industrial production is now 3.5% above pre-pandemic levels.
- The U.S. Producer Price Index (PPI) rose 1.4% in March, coming in above the consensus expected of +1.1%. Producer prices are now up 11.2% versus a year ago.
- Consumer prices are up 8.5% from a year ago, the largest increase since 1981. And while the Fed is talking tough and started rising rates by 0.25% in March, monetary policy remains very loose.
- As Ukraine faces an uncertain future amid the ongoing invasion by Russia, we would be remiss if we made note of the economic impact being felt by the war with no mention of the immense human tragedy taking place.
We hope you find these thoughts helpful and can use the attached information in your business and with your customers.