Declining consumer demand – largely driven by pressure from rapidly rising household debt-income levels and ongoing consumer price inflation – has led to reduced manufacturing sentiment (PMI -18%), an easing in the supply chain (trucking rate -19%), and inventory turns (down YoY across all CP sectors). However, companies remain optimistic about 2023 and anticipate a solid second half, building up inventory levels across all CP sectors, despite conflicting economic signals. A strong labor market offset by rising consumer loan delinquencies; better-than-expected earnings despite lower guidance; and recent Fed hawkishness all lead to the question of whether the economy or inflation will fall faster. Will the recession that seems to be "always six months away" ever come? If prior cycles are any guide, the answer is likely yes, and companies should plan accordingly.
On a monthly basis, AlixPartners charts sales, sentiment and supply chains in consumer-facing businesses. Learn more about the Consumer Products Corner newsletter and read previous articles, here.