In Germany, where one in four jobs depends on exports, the crisis gumming up the world’s supply chains is weighing heavily on the economy, which is Europe’s largest and a linchpin to global commerce.
Recent surveys and data point to a sharp slowdown of the German manufacturing powerhouse, and economists have begun to predict a “bottleneck recession.”
Almost everything that German factories need to operate is in short supply, not just computer chips but also plywood, copper, aluminum, plastics and raw materials like cobalt, lithium, nickel and graphite, which are crucial ingredients of electric car batteries.
The widespread assumption that suppliers close to home are more reliable has not always proved true. During the turmoil caused by the pandemic, some German companies had more trouble getting supplies from France or Italy, because of strict lockdowns, than they did from Asia.
Here is the full NYT piece by Jack Ewing, recommended.