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Gardner Business Index: Business Activity Whiplash Concerns

Strategy Government stimulated consumption over the last year coupled with unprecedented restrictions on global production has driven the intersection of supply and demand into unprecedented territory. Price shocks as reported by manufacturers are being felt both upstream and downstream; it may only be a matter of time before these shocks are more directly felt at the consumer level.

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The Gardner Business Index as of March 2021 set a new all-time high reading of 63.2 driven by supplier deliveries, new orders and backlog activity.

Ending March at an all-time high reading of 63.2, it seems hard to believe that business activity has expanded over the last eight consecutive months at such a rapid rate. This latest all-time high places all previous high readings distantly in the rearview mirror. A 4-point increase in export activity not only drove export activity into expansionary territory for the first time since 2018, but also resulted in an all-time high reading. Of the six measures which constitute the Gardner Business Index, supplier deliveries, new orders, backlogs and exports all registered all-time high readings. Lagging only slightly behind these was production activity which narrowly fell short of breaking its own all-time high. Read more