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Polls: Tariffs lead to rising prices for consumers in NY

Large televisions on display at a Costco Club

Large televisions on display at a Costco Club store in Waltham, Massachusetts, on Aug. 13. Credit: EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/CJ GUNTHER

The Trump administration’s increasing import taxes and retaliation by foreign governments  has forced manufacturers and retailers in New York State to increase consumer prices, according to two new polls.

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York said 42.5 percent of the 100 factories it surveyed across the state this month had hiked their selling prices in response to higher U.S. tariffs on imports from China and elsewhere.

About half of the factories polled haven’t changed their selling prices, and 10 percent said prices had dropped because of the increased tariffs.

Nearly seven in 10 factories said they are paying more for imported goods and raw materials because of the tariffs, according to the bank's poll released last week.

In a separate poll of retailers and other service firms on Long Island, in New York City and its northern suburbs, almost four in 10 said they have raised their selling prices, while only 4 percent have lowered them because of the tariffs.

Six in 10 service firms said they are paying more for imported goods.

“Both manufacturers and service firms said they see a modest negative effect, on balance, on sales to foreign customers, but little or no effect on domestic sales,” the bank said Friday.

Still, in terms of “the overall effect of trade policies on the bottom line … among manufacturers, 51 percent perceive a negative effect in 2019, and 47 percent anticipate a negative effect in 2020,” the bank said. “For service firms, the proportions are just under 40 percent for both years.”

In terms of export markets for New York’s businesses, service firms said a greater share of their revenue is coming from Canada this year than in 2018. Sales to Europe fell to 22 percent from 31 percent in 2018.

Among service firms and manufacturers, the share of revenue coming from sales to Caribbean nations was cut in half to about 1 percent of revenue, year over year.

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