A leading voice in horticultural economics looks back on 2021

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If you want to get a good idea of ​​how labor, supply chain, and inflationary pressures affected the horticulture industry in 2021, there’s probably no one better to ask than the Chief Economist. of AmericanHort, Dr. Charlie Hall.

On December 3, Hall presented a webinar on how vaccines, plants and dollars were all connected in 2021. You can click on here to view the webinar as well as more information from Hall. Here is just a sample:

On the work : “Things are improving on the labor front. The unemployment rate fell to 4.2% in November from 4.6%. This is a remarkably good number, considering the more than 20 million jobs lost last spring. In February of this year, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicted that the United States would not reach an unemployment rate of 4.2% until 2024. However, the US bailout was approved and just under. 6 million jobs have been filled since then. The labor force participation rate, or the share of people who are working or looking for a job, reached its highest level since March 2020 – half a percentage point, close to pre-pandemic levels.

On inflation and the supply chain: “Inflation on goods was the main contributor to historically high inflation rates this year, with prices for new and used cars, furniture, food and gasoline exerting pressure. upward significantly on price growth. In addition, the lagged effect of rising house prices and rents will continue to be felt in the PCE and CPI indices, meaning that housing costs will continue to push headline inflation up. Inflation in services, which has been given a bit of a breather after a downturn in activity alongside the recent surge in Delta cases, is also expected to strengthen as consumers turn back to spending on services as they go. as the risks of a pandemic decrease (according to Omicron, of course). Considering these factors, inflation will likely stay at current levels over the next few months and into the first quarter of 2022. In the index of prices paid by producers, I forecast increases in input costs for producers 8.8 this year and 4.7% next year (although this will be updated in February when I receive additional data. Inflationary pressures should start to ease around the fourth quarter of the year. next year, because many supply issues that weaken the economy are starting to be resolved. “

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