36th Annual Corporate Survey: Executives Focus on Labor, Energy, Shipping Costs

31 Mar 2022


As 2021 ended, the global coronavirus pandemic continued to surge with a new variant — once again causing restrictions on personal and business activities. Despite this, as we looked at the year-end economic numbers, we saw surprising growth.

According to the Commerce Department, the U.S. GDP grew at a 5.7 annualized rate in 2021, the fastest rate since 1984! This was primarily driven by consumer spending, which was bolstered by stimulus payments and emergency relief during the pandemic. This good news is tempered by the supply chain bottlenecks created by the surge in demand for everything from furniture to appliances to automobiles, and even to household necessities (remember the hoarding of toilet paper?), which is causing manufacturers to rethink their lean manufacturing strategies that minimize inventory.

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