New York: President Biden said Wednesday afternoon that his administration is taking steps to untangle supply chains and clear disruptions that have threatened the holiday shopping season, including extending hours at a key port and for some large retailers.
The Port of Los Angeles will begin operating around the clock, he said from the White House. UPS, Walmart and FedEx will also announce they are moving to work more off-peak hours. Biden said the country must “take a longer view” and fix supply chain vulnerabilities exposed by the Covid-19 crisis.
Problems in ports, factories and shipping lanes have helped produce shortages, long delivery times and rapid price increases. It’s unclear how much the White House’s actions will help — blockages stretch up and down supply chains around the world. Some issues could last through the end of next year or longer, analysts say.
The resulting inflation has chilled consumer confidence. On Wednesday, the Labor Department announced that the Consumer Price Index, a key reading of monthly inflation, jumped 5.4 percent in September when compared with the prior year. Federal Reserve officials have struck an increasingly wary tone, and they prepared to slow support for the economy at their last meeting.