Latest posts by Dan Ingram (see all)
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The finance industry has a term called the 100-Day Moving Average which traders use to evaluate both individual stocks and the market as a whole. What is President’s Trumps 100-Day Moving Average when it comes to the economy? You can base this off emotion and headlines, or, like any trader worth their portfolio, you can base it off of data. When we look at the actual numbers, it is clear that President Trump has enjoyed a tremendously successful first hundred days in office.
Look at the stock market, which functions as a general barometer of where people think the economy is headed. When Trump took office, the benchmark Dow, S&P 500, and NASDAQ indexes are up 6.12%, 5.32%, and 9.16%, respectively.
Stocks are but one measure of the market, so let us look at another – jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.5% in March, the last month for which data is available. However, President Trump has frequently dismissed the headline unemployment numbers as an inaccurate portrayal of the actual health of the labor pool. He instead favors total employment, which in March stood at 63.0%. The December number was 62.7%. In other words, over 561,000 more people are working since the year started until the end of March.
How about the overall economy? The fine folks at the Bureau of Economic Analysis at the U.S. Department of Commerce put together a first quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report which measures the overall size of the economy. According to them, the GDP increased by an annual rate of 0.7% in the first quarter, following a 2.1% increase in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Looking at several other economic indicators, it is clear that the economy is on the upswing. Over the past couple months, new residential sales numbers have climbed, manufacturing and trade inventories and sales have increased, and construction spending is up. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® has risen by 7% from the end of January to the end of April. Average hourly earnings have increased over the past one hundred days as well.
Even the executive actions taken by the president have some numbers backing their efficacy. Since his inauguration, President Trump has signed a plethora of Congressional Review Acts and Executive Orders designed to lift the burden of job-killing regulation on the nation’s industry. A quick check of employment in these sectors shows that these actions are already having their intended effect: putting Americans back to work. Mining, construction, and manufacturing job numbers are all rising.
While the forecast for the future is always uncertain, the verdict for the past one hundred days, economically speaking, is a resounding success. Today, more people are employed, earning more money, in a larger and more robust economy than when President Trump took office. In many cases, his rhetoric alone has been enough to accomplish this feat. When his policies start to really kick in and he signs his heavier legislation, expect even more growth and prosperity.