Global Supply Chains Back to Normal, N.Y. Fed Says

Shipping containers on the CSCL Arctic Ocean container ship
Shipping containers on the CSCL Arctic Ocean container ship, operated by Cosco Shipping Group, at the Port of Felixstowe in Felixstowe, U.K. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg News)

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Global supply chains have returned to normal, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said, almost three years after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic.

Actually, supply pressures around the world fell below normal. The February reading in the New York Fed’s Global Supply Chain Pressure Index was -0.26, reaching negative territory for the first time since August 2019.

Zero marks the historical average, and changes in either direction mark standard deviations from that trend. Maximum disruptions pushed the gauge to a peak of 4.31 in December 2021.

Less shipping congestion, an easing of parts shortages and weaker consumer demand have pulled the indicator lower in seven of the past 10 months, and the latest figure reflected more improvement.

Chart of global supply pressure index

“There were significant downward contributions by the majority of the factors, with the largest negative contribution from European area delivery times,” the New York Fed said.

The gauge brings together 27 variables that take the temperature of everything from cross-border transportation costs to country-level manufacturing data in the euro area, China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the U.K. and the U.S.

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