With the coronavirus pandemic top of mind for everyone right now, people are increasingly stressed about tariffs, too. Sixty-nine percent of Americans reported being at least somewhat concerned about the impact of trade policies and tariffs in the March reading of the CivicScience Tariff Monitor. This is a new high for the monthly tracker, coming in at two percentage points higher than the previous high in October’s reading, and a full seven percentage points higher than February’s figure. This is the highest MOM jump we’ve seen.
For comparison, in the month of March, the aggregate number of Americans who were at least somewhat concerned about being in public due to the coronavirus was at 83%. So nearly just as many Americans were concerned about tariffs as they were about the pandemic / being in public.
Those concerned about tariffs in March are the most concerned about the coronavirus, too.
What’s interesting is that those who are concerned about tariffs are more likely to still be working the same amount or more (in person or remote) than those unconcerned about tariffs. Those unconcerned with tariffs are more likely to have lost their job due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Nor are they concerned about losing their job amid the pandemic.
In terms of the impact trade policies have had on the American household, spending remained consistent in March, besides a slight increase in people noticing prices are higher.
With all the bulk-buying and prepping that happened and March (and currently) this may make sense.
To recap, even in the midst of a global pandemic, Americans are even more concerned about tariffs than they were in most recent months.
We don’t know what April’s numbers will look like, but we’ll bring them to you in early May.