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Inflation Dragon China: from price cuts to hikes

Durable consumer goods prices fell steadily for the past quarter-century as ever-cheaper computing power drove consumer electronics.

China acted as a giant price depressant for American consumers. Cheap Chinese goods sold through Wal-Mart and then Amazon undercut the prices of domestic manufacturers and kept consumer price inflation down.

The cost of education and health care soared, and housing bubbled during the 2000s and then popped during the 2010s, but cheap household goods and electronics seemed a permanent fixture of the American economy.