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January 17, 2020

Consumer Confidence Hit Highest Level in 19 Years

For those keeping track, that would be the highest level since before Obama's and Bush's terms.

The only consumer confidence level higher than today's was at the very peak of the Clinton/Tech bubble.

Consumer confidence is the highest its been in nearly 20 years. And yet, a recent MRC analysis showed that liberal media networks only gave President Donald Trump's economy less than one percent coverage on their evening newscasts over a period of 100 days.

Bloomberg News reported Jan. 16 that "U.S. consumer confidence advanced last week to the highest level in more than 19 years" [emphasis added]. Also, The Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 14 that "A healthy U.S. economy pushed up profits at America's biggest banks, allowing them to grow even though falling interest rates made lending less profitable." JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup were propelled to double-digit earnings growth in the final three months of 2019. "JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported its most profitable year on record," [emphasis added] according to The Journal.

Most profitable year on record? That's quite an assessment considering we were headed for economic doom, if you listened to the liberal media brouhaha about a recession in recent months.

Although the Democrats (by which I mean "the media") claim that the Trump Boom is only helping the 1%, that's a total lie. In fact, Trump's years are the only years since the eighties when low-income and working-class people have seen their own wages rise at a decent clip.

Between November 2018 and November 2019, overall median wage growth climbed 3.6 percent, a healthy pace that should lift spirits, too. Those in the bottom 25 percent saw wages advance 4.5 percent, while the top 25 percent lagged, with pay rising just 2.9 percent. This is the 180-degree exact opposite of what Democrats relentlessly bellow. They have equal access to the Atlanta Fedís website. This confirms their rank dishonesty.

And the economy continues producing jobs at a faster rate than new workers are entering the labor force -- resulting in the first wage increases for the bottom quintiles in 20, 30 years.

Earlier this week Instapundit noted some other economic news:

To win the election, the Democrats need something to throw the Golden Juggernaut of an economy God-King Trump has built for us.

There really are only two possibilities that come to mind big enough to derail the Golden Juggernaut:

a huge and sudden trade-war death spiral with China, or

a major terrorist attack on the US that does as much damage as 9/11.

Well, it looks like the chances of a trade war with China are off the table -- at least, it seems impossible now that one could begin quickly enough to impact the economy ahead of the 2020 elections.

Go, gee, I wonder what the Disloyal Opposition is rooting for instead?

With the Phase One trade deal signing scheduled for tomorrow, new details have emerged about Chinaís pledge to significantly ramp up purchases of U.S. exports including manufactured goods, food, farm products, energy and services, sources told Reuters.

The Phase One deal includes agreements on intellectual property, technology transfers and currency as well as explicit commitments from China to buy at least $200 billion of U.S. exports over the next two years, according to a U.S. Trade Representative document.


The target for manufactured goods is the largest, with China pledging to spend an additional $80 billion on U.S. autos, auto parts, aircraft, machinery, medical devices and semiconductors. China will also buy over $50 billion more in energy supplies and around $35 billion more of U.S. services.

Chinese purchases of U.S. agriculture products (a critical component of the Phase One deal) will increase by $32 billion, or $16 billion a year, sources told Reuters.

The left has been warning about the dangers of a trade war with China since Trump entered the Republican primary in 2015 -- but now has reversed itself and is nigh-opening despairing that it won't get the trade war it needs.

Reaction was predictably partisan. On CNBC, Steve Bannon said that President Trump "broke the Chinese Communist Party," and the U.S. "gave up very little in the end." On the same program, hedge fund manager Kyle Bass said that he sees the agreement as a "'temporary truce' in which the U.S. got the better of China."

At the New York Times, on the other hand, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth:

President Trump signed an initial trade deal with China on Wednesday, bringing the first chapter of a protracted and economically damaging fight with one of the world's largest economies to a close.

Has the trade conflict with China damaged the U.S. economy? To some degree it has, although it has certainly hurt China's economy more. This is the kind of short-term pain that Barack Obama, for example, was unwilling to accept. And yet economic growth under President Trump has been considerably better than under Obama.


I suppose it would be churlish to ask what Barack Obama, the Times's favorite president, accomplished on these fronts.

And the today started with very strong news in housing and corporate earnings.

December's incredible jump in new-home building will be hard to replicate, at least one analyst said after the data release.

"In one line: Spectacular but clearly unsustainable," Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Macroeconomics, said of the December housing starts data release.

"The much warmer-than-usual December weather likely boosted activity, but these are nonetheless very startling numbers, which will lift forecasts for Q4 residential investment," he said. "But activity can't be sustained at this level, and a hefty correction in January is a good bet. The permits numbers are a better guide to the underlying picture because they are much less weather-sensitive, and the December numbers are a bit disappointing."

I'll take "spectacular but unsustainable at this startling level" over Obama's eight years of Green Shoots and Recovery Summers.

Say -- anyone seen Kurt?

Paul Krugman's so distraught that he's retiring from making economic prognostications and returning to his first passion-- downloading terabytes of child pornography.

He says he doesn't want to come to the end of his life and wonder, "What if...?"

digg this
posted by Ace at 02:39 PM

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