WSJ Survey: Most Economists Do Not Expect Tariff to Trigger Inflation

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The members of the economics profession are not fans of tariffs but most do not expect higher import duties to cause inflation, according to the latest Wall Street Journal survey.

The survey found that economists expect tariffs will remain unchanged (39.6 percent) or rise (37.7 percent) over the next year. A smaller share, 22.6 percent, expect they will decrease.

Only 27.3 percent of surveyed economists said the expected any short-term damage to the U.S. economy the tariffs will be offset by long-term gains.

But they do not agree with that tariffs will squeeze consumers by forcing prices up. Over half,  53.4 percent, said inflation will be about the same in the medium term. Just 44.8 percent expect inflation will be higher.

Inflation has currently been running short of the Fed’s target of two percent.

“Pricing power is very weak,” Joshua Shapiro, an economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc, told the Wall Street Journal. “Tariffs will mainly hit profit margins—resultant cost-cutting will be disinflationary.”

 

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