Sales of This One Item SCREAM Recession

( – Evidence of a stagnant economy under President Joe Biden continues to pile up with another major metric of consumer activity plunging in recent numbers.

In early July, the Packaging Corporation of America reported that sales for standard cardboard boxes had fallen by almost 10% during the second quarter of the year. The overall plunge makes it one of the steepest slumps on record when combined with their first-quarter drop of 12.7%.

A report from FreightWaves Research says there is no data that indicates cardboard box sales will increase in the short term. The study cites decreased bank lending due to higher borrowing costs, the elimination of emergency SNAP benefits, and a resumption of federal payments on student loans as reasons to anticipate a continued downtrend in box sales.

An analyst with Charles Schwab said in June that if the downtrend with cardboard boxes continues the trickle-down effect will lead to layoffs and reduced wages.

The big brother to cardboard boxes is also experiencing a significant downtrend. A report released at the end of July shows that shipping container usage over the last year has slid by more than 75%. The move was so drastic that the Federal Reserve referred to the numbers as a “freight recession.”

One of the nation’s biggest users of shipping containers, Yellow Corporation, has announced a pending bankruptcy. Some 30,000 union and non-union employees will be without work.

On July 17, Secretary Janet Yellen of the U.S. Treasury said that she does not “expect a recession.” She said the nation was on “a good path” and that the U.S. labor force is “quite strong.”

Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve said that although his economists expect growth to continue slowing in late 2023, they feel the economy is resilient and are not “forecasting a recession.” The comments come as the Fed raises interest rates to their highest point in 16 years.

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