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Supply Chain Issues May Finally Be Easing Up. Here’s What That Means for Your Wallet

Supply Chain Issues May Finally Be Easing Up. Here's What That Means for Your Wallet
Written by Publishing Team

Finally, a bit of good news.

There is a reason why the cost of consumer goods has risen since the summer months. Supply chain issues have delayed the distribution of many common products and commodities. At the same time, the US economy improved. With fewer people out of work, American consumers had more money to spend, and demand for public goods rose.

As the demand for these goods has outpaced the supply, the prices have gone up – that’s Economy 101 for you. But that hasn’t made things any easier for consumers, especially those who live off paycheck to paycheck with no money in savings to fall back on.

In October, the Consumer Price Index, which measures the fluctuations in the cost of consumer goods, rose 6.2% from a year earlier. This is a big leap.

Will consumer prices start to fall anytime soon?

There has been some good news on the supply chain front lately. It looks as if some of the bottlenecks that were hurting consumers are finally starting to loosen up. US port congestion hasn’t been as bad as it was weeks or months ago, and has been partially helped by the conversion of a number of major ports to 24-hour operations. Delivery times are improving. That may, in the coming weeks, lead to lower consumer prices.

It is too early to begin celebrating the end of rampant inflation. While supply chain issues may improve, they haven’t gone away. The United States still has a shortage of truck drivers, and computer chips are still in short supply. This alone affects the production of everything from home electronics to vehicles.

In fact, despite the improvements mentioned above, it can take months for supply chains to catch up with demand and prices actually start to fall. This is something consumers should be aware of.

Breaking the inflation storm

We could see a reversal of recent price hikes during the first half of 2022 if supply chains really pick up their pace. But this means that consumers are still looking forward to months of sky-high prices.

Those who don’t have money in savings to fall back on may need to spend wisely in the coming months to avoid falling into debt. That could mean cutting back on free time, or even making adjustments to basic expenses, like downsizing to save money on rent.

Another option for cash-strapped consumers is to get a second job. These days, there are a host of lucrative side activities to choose from, and a temporary increase in income may be the only thing helping workers stay out of debt until prices start to fall.

Many companies these days are in dire need of hiring, so finding part-time shifts may be easier than it used to be. Additionally, there are plenty of side gigs that can be done independently, such as entering data at home or driving to a car carrier, so that scheduling restrictions can be overcome.

The good news is that rampant inflation won’t last forever, and may ease up relatively as early as 2022. But consumers will need to take strategic steps to manage their money for that to actually happen.

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