Key reason for supply shortages: Americans keep spending

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Containers line a Port of Oakland shipping terminal Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2021, in Oakland. Intense demand for products has led to a backlog of container ships outside the nation's two largest ports along the Southern California coast. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Tom Krisher and Paul Wiseman The Associated Press DETROIT (AP) – Take a step back from the picked-over store shelves, the stalled container ships and the empty auto showrooms, and you’ll find a root cause of the shortages of just about everything. Even as the pandemic has dragged on, U.S. households flush with cash from stimulus checks, booming stock markets and enlarged home equity have felt like spending freely again, a lot. And since consumer demand drives much of the U.S. and global economies, high demand has brought goods shortages to the U.S. and much of the world. Add the fact that companies are ordering – and hoarding – more goods and parts than they need so they don’t run out, and you end up with an almost unquenchable demand that is magnifying the supply sho
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