Concern over tariffs looks similar to last month’s CivicScience Tariff Monitor showing that Americans’ concern was stagnant even after the signing of the Phase One Trade Deal. The same number of Americans are concerned over the trade war’s impact on their household expenses when looking at February’s full numbers.
However, the actual impact on consumer spending saw an uptick of two percentage points. Twenty-five percent of respondents in the February reading say they are buying less than they used to because prices are higher (up from 23% in January).
There has been no change this reading in the political make-up of those concerned and those unconcerned, but as you may assume – and in case you missed past readings – it’s pretty split between party lines.
Although some tariffs have been canceled with China, others on luxury goods from the EU like wine, cheese, and leather handbags have been put into effect. Imported French wine in particular has seen a 25% tariff since October. CivicScience data revealed that wine drinkers are less concerned about tariffs at large as of February (63%), down from 66% in January. Perhaps this has to do with the lower cost of U.S. wine coming this year due to a surplus of California grapes. Just a hypothesis.
As the coronavirus and its effect on the economy may be top of mind for Americans right now, it would be no surprise if concern over tariffs goes down in the next reading.