White House Reports More Resilient Supply Chains and Correlation to Goods Inflation: Key Measurement Indicators Used

The White House released a report on June 8 indicating “increased access to transportation and warehousing capacity and equipment, solid throughput at the ports, improved delivery times, greater ocean shipping reliability, and steady declines in transportation costs.” Highlights include (directly quoted):

  • The nation’s ports moved record levels of cargo in 2021 (25.8 million units) and 2022 (25.5 million units) through increased collaboration across the logistics industry, which has helped reduce the significant backlog of anchored vessels from a peak of 155 to roughly a dozen in May 2023.
  • 92 percent of goods at grocery and drug stores are in stock—above where they were pre-pandemic.
  • There are over 120 new trucking firms with Registered Apprenticeship programs to help attract, train, and retain talent in this critical sector.
  • The New York Fed’s Global Supply Chain Pressure Index has eased off of its highest level on record. This has happened alongside a historic surge in East-West ocean shipping prices, which have fallen by roughly 90 percent since their peak in September 2021, as well as a 30 percent drop in gas prices since their summer 2022 peak. Moreover, annual core goods inflation has fallen more than 65 percent since its peak in February 2022.

In addition, the White House Council of Economic Advisers released a post detailing how improved supply chains are helping ease goods inflation. Measurement indicators showed:

  • For supply chain normalization, indicators used were the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Survey and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Global Supply Chain Pressure Index (composite ISM and HARPEX Index of Shipping costs) with the ISM Survey measure staying below the before Covid average since December 2022.
  • For personal consumption expenditures, delivery times from ISM survey respondents compared against Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Indexes for food, energy, and goods, show overall decline since the summer of 2022.
  • For intermediate core goods, supply chain measures “are even more correlated with input prices.” The most recent Producer Price Index (PPI) report shows that “prices in many categories are moderating, including several months of low or negative price growth in various goods price indices such as food and transportation.”

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