When we return to normal. Those words are often heard in both our personal and work lives these days as we contemplate the end of the pandemic in the weeks ahead. But just what will normal actually look like?
The answer to that all-too-common question is not quite as easy to put your finger on. A recent report from the economists at RBC Royal Bank is just one example of how uncertain the final state-of-the-economy will be.
First of all, it says a growing number of businesses are worried about supply chain interruptions. If the pandemic taught us anything, the just-in-time system of inventory management is coming under review. Cargo ships waiting in harbor to be off-loaded, enormous jumps in demand for some consumer items, like hot tubs, has resulted in backorders.
In response, many businesses surveyed for the report say they plan to raise prices.
And they want to add staff but can’t find suitable workers. They’re answer to that is to invest more heavily e-commerce.
Just what is normal going to be? More workers and inventory or more on-line traffic and less inventory?