According to data released by the White House's Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, in November 2021, the shelves at stores remain at about the same level as before the pandemic.
While on-shelf availability is at 89%, consumer prices are 5.4% higher than pre-pandemic and are close to a 30-year high in inflation.
The products hit the hardest by recent supply chain disruptions are:
1. Gasoline: The shortage is not gasoline supply but a shortage of truck drivers to transport the fuel, which slows down the pace of fuel deliveries. Contrary to the belief of many Americans, higher gas prices are not reflective of the president in office but a result of the demand for truck drivers to transport the fuel.
2. Coffee: Brazil produces one-third of the world's coffee beans and dealt with a drought that resulted in smaller crops than usual in 2021. In addition, the lack of available shipping containers and backed-up ports has increased pressure on the supply chain.
3. Semiconductor Chips: Semiconductor chips are integral for production in the automotive industry, for mobile phones and many other industries. Since the United States only produces a small percentage of the world's semiconductor chips, there's still a waiting period in supply chain to receive new shipments from international suppliers.
4. Diapers: Supply shortage for the raw materials to make disposable diapers is responsible for the increased cost of production and the consumer impact on prices and supply.
5. Chicken: On top of the increased demand due to consumers cooking at home, processing facilities dealt with the struggles of staying open safely.
6. Lumber: Wood prices have been climbing for years, but increased consumer free time has inspired many people to undertake home-improvement projects due to the pandemic. The price increase isn't due to a shortage of raw material; it's due to the increased demand for the processed version of lumber.
7. Toilet Paper: The prices for ground-up wood pulp used to make paper products like toilet paper increased dramatically. The raw material isn't the issue. People want processed goods: toilet paper, not paper pulp.