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Opinion
Conor Sen

The Auto Industry Is the Economy’s Best Hope Right Now

The car market contributed to supply chain turmoil, and soaring prices helped drive up inflation. Now it’s returning to normal.

Heading in the other direction.

Heading in the other direction.

Photographer: Eric Thayer/Getty Images 

If you had to point to one culprit holding back the economy over the past 18 months, it would be the auto industry. Supply chain problems like the shortage of semiconductors have contributed to weak economic growth, anemic productivity, rising prices and higher interest rates as the Federal Reserve struggles to control inflation.

While the auto industry still is a long way from normal, the data we’ve gotten over the past month suggests it is finally healing, which is going to lead to some surprisingly good economic numbers over the next few quarters. We’re already seeing economic growth accelerate at the same time inflation is coming down.