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A measure of U.S. business prices edged up less than expected in February, once again indicating that tariffs have not weighed on the American consumer.
Ever since the Trump administration announced it would impose tariffs on imported steel and aluminum a year ago, many economists have been predicting that rising U.S. tariffs would drive prices higher for U.S. consumers, with some describing tariffs as a “tax on consumers.” Cars, in particular, were supposed to see prices soar.
US - President - Donald - Trump - Steel
“U.S. President Donald Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs will boost car prices by hiking commodity costs for manufacturers, automakers have warned,” Reuters reported last year.
But none of the official measures of prices indicate much tariff-driven inflation. That widely touted auto-paclypse in car prices certainly has not occured.
Producer-Price - Index - Prices - Businesses - Goods
The Producer-Price Index, which mostly measures the prices businesses receive for their goods and services, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.1 percent in February from a month earlier, the Labor Department said Wednesday. From a year earlier, the producer-price index increased 1.9 percent. Economist had expected 0.2 percent for the month and 2.0 percent for the year.
Prices for goods, less volatile food and energy categories, were up the same 0.1 percent for the month. This is the broadest category where tariffs would show up if they were to hit consumers.
Tariffs - Prices - Businesses - Production - Chain
Tariffs have raised prices for businesses further out on the production chain but these are not getting passed on to consumers, according to the data. There is very little evidence in the latest producer-price index that tariffs are acting as a tax on consumers–and plenty that they are not.
But the prices of stuff made of steel and sold to consumers are barely up at all. Auto parts are up just 0.5 percent compared with a year ago. Car prices are up just 1 percent for the year. Prices of “light trucks”–SUVs...
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One of the countries we liberated was Russia, too bad it seems to have cost us our liberty.