Apple said supply constraints would hit iPhone and iPad production © John Smith/VIEWpress
Apple said supply constraints would hit iPhone and iPad production © John Smith/VIEWpress

Stock shortages 'to last into the autumn'

posted by Juliette Rowsell and Will Green
28 July 2021

The stock shortages plaguing the UK economy will continue into the autumn, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned.

In a report the CBI said price rises could follow as supply issues continued, caused by staff shortages and port disruptions due to Brexit and Covid. 

Stock levels have plunged for the second consecutive month, reaching their lowest levels since 1983, said the CBI.

The report said: “The retail, wholesale and motor trades sectors all reported relative stocks as too low, with the situation expected to deteriorate further in August.”

In quarterly results Apple said it expected supply constraints to impact iPhone and iPad production.

CEO Tim Cook told investors: “We are paying more for freight than I would like to pay but component costs continue in the aggregate to decline.

“In terms of supply constraints and how long they will last, I don’t want to predict that today. We are going to take it one quarter at a time and will do everything we can to mitigate whatever circumstances we are dealt.”

In its quarterly results Microsoft said supply chain constraints cut revenue in its Surface computer range by 20% or $348m.

The CBI survey, involving 124 firms between 25 June and 15 July, found wholesalers reported the sharpest rate of growth since April 2017.

Ben Jones, principal economist at the CBI, said: “While demand may be more stable, operational issues worsen. Relative stock levels are at a record low and expected to fall further still, while the number-one worry for many firms at the minute is labour shortages throughout the supply chain as staff self-isolate.” 

Toy manufacturer Mattel warned prices would increase because of supply chain shortages. 

The company, which owns popular doll brand Barbie, said it would need to increase prices in the run up to Christmas to cover rising raw materials and shipping costs.

Mattel's chief executive Ynon Kreiz told the BBC: “We will be looking at increasing prices in the second half of the year.”

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