Supply chain issues, inflation and gas prices to blame
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and Thanksgiving and Black Friday are just around the corner - but there are signs that Florida's residents won't be shopping 'til they drop - not this year at least.
That's according to research from the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Findings of a recent study, reported on November 12, suggest that a combination of factors are making shoppers less inclined to spend this holiday season:
There are a variety of factors at play right now, not least the continuing economic uncertainty in the wake of COVID-19.
Lasting effects of COVID-19
While the most recent wave of cases has now passed Florida, the state has still seen 60,697 deaths from the pandemic - more than the entire death-toll of the Vietnam war.
The toll on jobs in Florida has also been significant. Data from the University of New Hampshire suggests that 1,269,200 jobs were lost in the state during the pandemic. Fortunately, 84% of these have now been recovered but this still leaves over 200,000 Floridians out of work since the pandemic.
The supply chain crisis
Then there's the effects of shortages of goods for shoppers to buy, caused by the ongoing supply chain crisis. The back-log of container ships that are stuck in oceans around the US waiting to unload goods from the Far East, and a lack of truck drivers to distribute them around the country, have combined to limit the supply of goods on shelves. The price of what is available has gone up too.
- Restaurants are struggling to obtain adequate supplies of food
- A chip shortage is causing car and electronics manufacturers to have to slow or shut-down production.
- A Burger King restaurant in Florida recently had to display a sign that read “Sorry, no french fries with any order. We have no potatoes.”
Governor DeSantis has been quick to try and capitalize on the situation and help out by volunteering Florida's ports to shift the backlog. For now though, prices are inevitably higher than normal.
Gas prices higher than ever
A final reason why shoppers may be being cautious this year, is the incredibly high price of gas and other essential supplies in Florida and across the US right now.
On November 10, it was reported that gas prices in South Florida have gone up by more than $1 per gallon in the last 12-months - an unacceptable increase that's simply unaffordable for many Floridians.
The combined effects of all these factors could well mean that holiday shoppers spend fewer of their precious dollars at stores this Black Friday and as the season progresses. Here's hoping that things improve soon.
Are you feeling the effects of shortages and cost-increases right now? Will you be spending less this holiday season? Let me know in the comments section below.