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Forecast risks abound heading into 2022

Watch consumers, supply chains, and the pandemic, of course.

A year ago, we were forecasting a solid 2021, but forecast risks appeared to be mostly to the downside. In some cases, we correctly predicted a result but did not anticipate the cause. For example, recovery in employment was slowing, but the issue seemed to be one of weak demand, not tight supply.

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Ake’s Take: Retail Sales Are Vibrant – Where Is The Money Going?

The federal government has pumped $850 billion of direct stimulus payments to citizens in response to the pandemic (Peter G. Peterson Foundation). In combination with the COVID health mobility restrictions, this cash infusion resulted in changes in retail spending patterns. Since the pandemic started, there has been a surge in retail goods spending as consumers had more money to spend and service spending was severely curtailed.

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