Saturday, July 28, 2018


And then there is the latest GDP report, showing growth of over 4%.  Trump of course crowed about how fantastic the figures are and how they will keep going up.  I can only hope that on some level he realizes that simply isn't true.  The markets reacted with a predictable "Meh" and slid some, probably for the wrong reasons, including that this wasn't as high as projected.  Personally, I think it's bilge.

"Why?" you ask.  Well, first, GDP really isn't a terribly good measure of economic health, especially in times like these where wealth is accumulating at the extreme top end of the scale.  99% of the population could be living like Bronze Age goatherders, but so long as the top 1% is making it and spending it, GDP says the economy is great.  Let's put it this way: If the economy is doing so well, where is the job growth, where is the wage growth.  They simply aren't happening.

Second, Q2 figures are probably gamed, even more than usual.  The "tax reform" refunds arrived, and while the overwhelming majority of people didn't receive enough extra to matter (My taxes actually went up, thank you very much.), the folks on top received piles, which they spent, thus increasing GDP.  Also, everyone knew tariff wars were coming with Q3, so they packed as much buying and selling as possible in Q2 to avoid them.  Finally, everyone knew the Fed would continue to hike interest rates in Q3, so everyone got their financing and cut their deal in Q2.

In other words, expect Q3 GDP to drop, probably be quite a bit.

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