At first glance, overall concern about tariffs appears flat with last month’s reading when combining those ‘somewhat’ and ‘very’ concerned. Though economic concern has drastically dipped, it’s no surprise that the tariff concern baseline hasn’t budged much. There’s just so much else to worry about.
Or maybe, in some cases, there’s less to worry about when it comes to future tariff policies. What has shifted month over month is the extent to which people are concerned. While ‘very’ concerned spiked in October, it swapped places with ‘somewhat’ concerned for the month of November. It was the election, of course. Remember, if you can, that the threat of tariffs was one under President Trump. With President-elect Biden expected to be inaugurated on January 20, it appears this concern has shifted. Why worry as much with brand new policies (that could change tariffs drastically) being served up soon?
As the data show, liberals were more concerned about tariffs in October than they reported to be in November. Same goes for conservatives.
What’s more, the November numbers reveal that a higher percentage of consumers are reporting they haven’t noticed tariffs impacting the prices of everyday household goods.
What are people worried about though, despite an impending new administration? Well, the pandemic. It’s here and it’s raging right in front of us, and nearly 70% of U.S. adults say they’re more concerned about the coronavirus than they were the prior week. This is even higher than observed in June, and the highest since we’ve been tracking it.
The CivicScience Tariff Monitor is a good pulse on how consumer’s feel about their finances and the future economy. But with a new president on the horizon, it will be interesting to watch this indicator shift.