Living: Why Pricey Imports Stay That Way

Since the dollar is strong and products are such bargains abroad, why are many imports still so costly at home? That is the puzzler for American shoppers who had hoped that their high-flying currency would provide hometown bargains on luxury products ranging from cashmere sweaters to Dunhill gold cigarette lighters.

According to the economic textbooks, the price of imports should go down when the value of a country's currency goes up. Reason: when the dollar is worth more francs, marks or lira, products originally priced in those currencies should be correspondingly cheaper. In the theoretical world of economists, a British suit...

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