‘Buy now,’ NCSU economist advises consumers before tariffs bring higher prices

May 17, 2019

American consumers could be hit the hardest by the U.S. trade war with China, as higher tariffs translate into higher prices.

Cellphones, appliances, clothing, coffee and even diapers are among some of the items expected to cost more in the near future.

Some economists predict the tariffs could wind up costing the average American family $400 to $700 over the next year.

“Buy now,” advised Mike Walden, an economist at North Carolina State University. “Buy now. It will take several weeks for these tariffs to go through and also re-evaluate what you want.”

Some Triangle consumers said they plan to scale back their purchases until the U.S. and China reach a trade agreement.

Not Ronnie Teasley. He said he would follow Walden’s advice and buy what he needs now.

“I don’t think that is right,” Teasley said of the trade war’s cost on consumers, “for the simple fact that we are here. We are here in America.”

Walden said he doesn’t think the dispute will last long.

“My prediction now is that it will be wrapped up within months,” he said. “I could certainly be wrong – economists are always wrong – and this could go on for years. I just think what’s at stake, particularly for the Chinese, will motivate them to come to a deal.”