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8 PCB007 MAGAZINE I JULY 2021 Nolan's Notes by Nolan Johnson, I-CONNECT007 Inflation and the Changing Supply Chain It hasn't happened since 2008, the news sources at CNBC reported [1] . Headline con- sumer prices rose 5% in May 2021, higher than Wall Street expected. at bump also represented the fastest pricing adjustment in the Consumer Price Index since 2008. Pric- es were up across the board, due to a variety of factors, ranging from pandemic shutdowns ricocheting through the supply chain, to ship- ping delays, to increased demand from new market sectors. Tellingly, it was surging car prices that seemed to be the biggest single driver of the inflation gains. CNN Business reports, "Mas- sive job losses and a shift to working from home caused a 30% plunge in auto sales, the biggest quarterly decline since the Great Re- cession," but continues with, "Now sales are booming...but that demand is coming at a time when auto plants around the globe are closed or running at reduced pro- duction due to a computer chip shortage. New car produc- tion in North America is down about 3.4 mil- lion vehicles in the first three months of this year, according to Cox Automotive." [2] If you're reading the industry news, then you're undoubtedly already familiar with the semiconductor supply chain issues. We devot- ed an issue or two to the supply chain back at the start of 2019, in fact. If your job includes procurement of the components, you may be nursing an ulcer from the experience lately. Talk with the experienced folk and they'll tell you they've never seen anything quite like this before. e combination of the shutdowns and the huge demand for components in the auto- motive and auto infrastructure industries are

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