Experts: Start holiday shopping now to get gifts on time

Business

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — It may seem too early to start talking about holiday shopping but experts say shoppers should start now if they want their gifts to arrive on time — or be available at all.

Major supply chain issues have led to shipping delays and higher prices.

Josh Lehner, an economist with the State of Oregon, said several factors are contributing to the problem. Dozens of container ships are currently waiting off the coast of California to unload their cargo. Products are also taking longer to reach store shelves due to railway and trucking delays.

Staffing shortages are also impacting shipping schedules because the labor force hasn’t recovered from the hit it took during the pandemic.

The September jobs report released Thursday found 51% of small business owners have job openings they can’t fill.

These are all issues that aren’t going away anytime soon.

“What they’re all indicating is this is going to go well into 2022,” said Lehner, “so another six, eight months for sure is what they’re indicating the supply chain problems will be.”

A National Federation of Independent Business survey on the impact of the pandemic on small businesses found 90% of small business owners say the supply chain disruptions are impacting their business and that the situation is getting worse.

Lehner said this is all happening at a time when consumer spending is up, creating an increase in demand while production is down.

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