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Trade War Tides Turn: US consumers paid up to cool down this summer

1 month ago by Jon Marino in Markets

US shoppers got dinged by the trade war, in spite of what President Donald J. Trump insisted. His beef with China and President Xi Jinping has come back to bite Americans in the pocketbook. 

At retailer Best Buy ($NYSE:BBY), the price of air conditioners rose this year, substantially more than they did the prior year, as consumer demand helped lift A/C units' prices, which are accessible through our data sets. Over 2019, prices increased just under 5%, or about $20 on a $400 air conditioner unit. 

We can tell from our second chart that the increase in air conditioner prices didn't simply rise overnight. As American and Chinese officials' trade spat continues, greater taxes are being applied to products made internationally. And at Best Buy, at least, this came home to roost for consumers, especially as summer concluded. 

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

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Jon Marino

Jon Marino is Thinknum's finance editor, covering the impacts of alternative data on public companies and investors. Prior to joining Thinknum, Jon worked in the ...

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