As I said last July, time sure flies when you’re having supply chain fun. Here we are, more than halfway through 2015. It’s been only six months, and I can hardly remember what happened in the supply chain earlier in the year, and I follow this stuff for a living. So, as always we’ll do a 1H review now and then in January of course a retrospective of the year 2015 in supply chain, which readers have told me they appreciate. In April, Target stores announces it is jumping on the item-level RFID bandwagon, announcing an aggressive program that will have all its US stores RFID-enabled by the end of 2016. Inventory accuracy for store-based eFulfillment is key goal. So, here we go, starting with some main themes so far this year. Once again, the economies that underlie our supply chains have been lukewarm, which is obviously now the new normal. The latest revision to US real GDP showed a drop of 0.2% the first quarter, just as 2014 saw a decline of 2.9% in Q1. Things should be better in Q2, but in general we can probably expect full year real US GDP growth to be a little over 2% yet again. The IMF just downgraded its forecast for full year US growth to 2.5%, for example, down from 3.1% before. The unemployment rate is down, but so is the labor participation rate. Is there really a big deal between 2% and the 3% growth many see as needed? Yes there is, as a famous economist once noted, and the difference is 50%. The Euro zone saw weak growth again too, but at 1% positive it was better than the US. China’s economy continues to wobble, and while it still says it will see 7% growth in 2015, […]
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