Even though "online retail" and "tech stocks" may have been the defining terms of business in the first year of the pandemic, 2021 is quickly shaping up to be the year of "supply chain". But, while the former two thrived during 2020, the latter buckled under the strain of global demand and constraints in 2021.

In particular, a worldwide shortage of computer chips is being felt in sectors ranging from gaming to automotive to appliances. It is most publicly felt in Sony's inability to meet an insatiable demand for the new PlayStation 5, but companies ordering new computers for extended work-from-home deployments, and consumers wanting the latest models of washing machine and fridges, are also finding themselves on waiting lists...

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