Patio furniture shortage is a sign of Biden’s economy: rapid growth but persistent delays in finding many products

COCKEYSVILLE, Maryland – People used to go to Valley View Farms to buy five tomato plants and end up with $ 5,000 worth of patio furniture.

This year is different. After an explosion in record sales in March, the showroom floor is nearly devoid of outdoor chairs, tables and chairs that people can buy.

The suburban Baltimore garden supply store has been waiting six months for a shipping container from Vietnam filled with $ 100,000 of wicker and aluminum furniture. The container should have arrived in February, but it reached US waters on June 3 and has just docked in Long Beach, California.

And half of the container has already been sold just by showing customers photographs.

“Everyone is so far behind,” said John Hessler, 62, manager of the store’s patio section. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Biden’s economy faces the unusual challenge of perhaps being too strong for its own good. There is the paradox of the fastest growing in generations at over 6% but also lingering delays for anyone trying to buy furniture, cars and a wide array of other goods.

It is almost the opposite mirror of the recovery from the Great Recession of 2007-2009, which was marred by slow growth but also by the near instantaneous delivery of almost any product imaginable.

What matters at the end of the day is that demand remains strong enough for companies to catch up and shorten long waits.

“It’s a very good problem for the economy,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services. “It is better to have too much demand than not enough, because too little demand is the recipe for a prolonged recession. “

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