With the U.S. economy expected to gather steam this year as more and more Americans are vaccinated, one of the biggest cautions to consider is whether supply chains will be able to keep up with growing demand. Indeed, concerns about disruptions to supply chains and shortages that have occurred during the pandemic sparked the Biden administration to order a review of critical areas.
A major example is semiconductors. Lead times for many semiconductors are one year out right now, and these devices are in just about everything we use. Business and financial media have detailed how the shortage of semiconductors has caused production cutbacks in the automotive industry: Ford, Toyota, Nissan, VW, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now a part of Stellantis) are among global carmakers that have scaled back output. Other carmakers have announced they’ll likely miss their 2021 targets. And it’s not just carmakers that are in trouble. The chip shortages are expected to cause widespread shortages of everything, from electronics to medical devices to technology and networking equipment.