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Economists say supply chain issues could be easing

The delays across U.S. ports and shipping centers appear to be lessening, according to Jim Glassman, the head economist of commercial banking at JPMorgan Chase.

NEW YORK — It has been a challenge, to say the least, for businesses to survive during the pandemic turmoil. Now, some midsized companies appear to be thriving.

JPMorgan Chase released its 2022 Business Leaders Outlook and it remains optimistic for the future. 

The survey of more than 1,600 executives at businesses across the country finds ‘83% have a positive outlook over the next 12 months.’

Jim Glassman is the head economist of commercial banking at JPMorgan Chase. He told 10TV it's because businesses that survived were able to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. 

Glassman point to businesses’ profits and sales are equal to if not higher than before the pandemic.

“I think business leaders are learning how to navigate the landscape here, and they're getting a lot of help from the federal effort,” said Glassman. “Consumers were helped a lot by a lot of programs. So the consumer side of the economy has been very strong. And like the national economy, economic activity, national output is really recovered quite well over the last two years, despite the ongoing challenges of the virus.”

 A major challenge facing businesses and consumers was supply chain issues. Glassman is hopeful it will get better.

“When you look at the amount of time it takes manufacturers to get their hands on raw materials, the supply chain delivery times are starting to shrink again,” said Glassman. “That's a sign that maybe we're getting through the worst of the supply chain bottlenecks.”

Glassman believes worker shortages will remain for the time being.

“Interestingly, when you think about the challenges that the businesses are having, finding workers, retaining workers, managing supply chains, dealing with cost increases, these are all the kinds of things that you get with a robust economy,” said Glassman.

Glassman also pointed out that when businesses are having a hard time finding workers, that could mean good things for workers. 

“And by the way, because businesses are able to be so much more efficient than they were previously, it's releasing a lot of resources for them to work on these challenges," he said. "And that means better pay is not really eating into margins. When you're living at a time when everybody's becoming more efficient, businesses are able to pay workers more improved benefits, work on in-house training programs, all the kinds of things that make your workplace a lot more interesting and more challenging.”

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