Analytical Corner - Session 2: Supply Chain Disruptions & Inflation

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A Headwind to Recovery—How Soaring Shipping Costs Raise Prices Around the World

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the cost of shipping goods spiked dramatically. Drawing on the experience of 143 countries over the past 30 years, we show that spikes in shipping costs tend to raise consumer prices around the world. The inflationary impact of these shocks is similar in magnitude but more persistent than shocks to global oil and food prices. Prices in lower-income countries and in those that rely more on imported goods—including remote and island states—are more sensitive to shipping costs. As countries recover from the brunt of the pandemic, high shipping costs are likely to put upward pressure on inflation throughout 2022.

Speakers

Daniel Jiménez

Asia and Pacific Department, IMF

 

Yan Carrière-Swallow

Asia and Pacific Department, IMF

 

Not So Smooth Sailing: Port Congestion Around the World

Rising inflation and reports of empty shelves in major economies have drawn attention to the functioning of supply chains that normally operate smoothly in the background. Among the issues, the long delays that port congestion causes in delivering goods to consumers and firms have been drawing increasing attention. This talk will shed light on these issues leveraging billions of radio messages that cargo ships emit for navigational safety purposes and that are picked up from land stations and satellites in space. For the world as a whole, our machine-learning-derived estimates show substantial welfare losses from port disruptions. Zooming in on major ports, some lessons emerge on how temporary the disruptions might prove, and on the need to address infrastructure gaps.

Speakers

Diego Cerdeiro

Asia and Pacific Department, IMF

 

Andras Komaromi

Institute for Capacity Development, IMF

 

Yang Liu

Information Technology Department, IMF

 

Supply Bottlenecks: Where, Why, How Much, and What Next?

Supply constraints hurt the economic recovery and boosted inflation in 2021. We find that in the euro area, manufacturing output would have been 7.5 percent higher, and the rise in nonenergy producer price inflation would have been 5.5 percentage points lower in the absence of supply bottlenecks in the second half of 2021. Globally, shutdowns can explain up to 40 percent of the supply shocks. Sectors that are more reliant on differentiated inputs—such as autos—are harder hit. Late last year industry experts expected bottlenecks largely dissipate by end-2022, but given the Omicron wave and the war in Ukraine, disruptions could protract into 2023. With supply constraints adding to price pressures, the challenge for policymakers is to support recovery without allowing high inflation to become entrenched.

Speakers

Jing Zhou

European Department, IMF

 

Mariano Spector

European Department, IMF

 

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