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Thread: Trump's Economy

  1. #121
    Senior Contributor GVChamp's Avatar
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    Whether Iraq was a cluster doesn't change that we casually tossed the regime out like it was a carton of spoiled milk, and proceeded to hunt down most of the senior leaders until even Saddam Hussein was dangling.

    Those are the stakes you are playing with if you want to try to shut down the world's oil supply. You can certainly gamble, but if you pull up a deuce instead of an ace, you lose the ball game.

    Will Iran try to play the same game to cost Trump the election? Probably not, since it:
    A. won't drive up oil for long after all their crap is blown up
    B. will result in Iran losing a lot of crap including whatever pity points they are currently getting
    C. will probably backfire and give Trump a rally-'round-the-flag effect by blowing up Iran's stuff
    Last edited by GVChamp; 05 Oct 19, at 15:05.
    "The great questions of the day will not be settled by means of speeches and majority decisions but by iron and blood"-Otto Von Bismarck

  2. #122
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    What’s your inflation rate?

    Source: https://data.bls.gov/PDQWeb/ap

    If you live in a major American city, the rate of inflation has been historically low for a very long time. Yet, many people don’t seem to think that’s the case. They feel that their own personal inflation rate is higher than the headline figures.

    Price changes, Jan-Sept 2019 vs. five years ago (and, average annual percent change):

    Beans, dried, any type and all sizes: -10.0% (-2.1% p.a.)
    White flour, all purpose: -16.9% (-3.6% p.a.)
    Uncooked rice, white long grain, +4.5% (+0.9% p.a.)
    Spaghetti and macaroni, -7.3% (-1.5% p.a.)
    Bread, white, -7.9% (-1.6% p.a.)
    Bread, whole wheat, -5.5% (-1.1% p.a.)
    Margarine, soft tubs, -22.4% (-5.0% p.a.)
    Whole milk, -18.1% (-3.9% p.a.)
    Cheddar cheese, -4.6% (-0.9% p.a.)

    Uncooked ground beef, all types: +0.2% (0.0% p.a.)
    Uncooked ground beef, lean and extra lean -0.2% (-1.0% p.a.)
    Chuck roast, +5.1% (+1.0% p.a.), but excluding USDA Prime and Choice, +18.6% (+3.5% p.a.)
    Steak, round, +5.6% (+1.1% p.a.)
    Steak, Sirloin USDA Choice, boneless +0.2% (0.0% p.a.)
    Beef for stew, boneless, +10.2% (+2.0% p.a.)
    Bacon, slices, -3.3% (-0.7% p.a.)
    Chops, center-cut, bone-in, -7.0% (-1.4% p.a.)
    Ham, boneless, excluding canned, -1.3% (-0.3% p.a.)
    Bologna, sliced, -10.7% (-2.2% p.a.)
    Chicken, fresh, whole, -1.8% (-0.4% p.a.)
    Turkey, frozen, whole, -6.4% (-1.3% p.a.)

    Bananas, -4.7% (-1.0% p.a.)
    Oranges, navel, +3.9% (+0.8% p.a.)
    Peaches (Jun-Sept only), +6.5% (+1.3% p.a.)
    Strawberries, +16.7% (+3.1% p.a.)
    Grapes, Thompson seedless, -3.4% (-0.7% p.a.)

    Potatoes, white, +12.0% (+2.3% p.a.)
    Tomatoes, +19.6% (+3.6% p.a.)
    Broccoli, +12.5% (+2.4% p.a.)

    Table wine, red and while, any origin, +5.1% (+1.0% p.a.)
    Electricity, -0.5% (-0.1% p.a.)

    Why margarine but not butter? Lack of data. The same is true for most other items, such as soft drinks and coffee: this source has this data, but not that data.
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  3. #123
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    And so it slows

    The US economy barely scratched out a 2% real growth rate in the third quarter of 2019, as compared to the same 2018 period. The annualized, quarter-to-quarter headline figure was just 1.9%, the second slowest in three years. By both measures, GDP has been growing less quickly for three quarters in a row.

    As capital investment evaporates (+0.2% YoY, the worst since Q-3 2016), private consumption expenditure (a mediocre +2.5%) has taken up the job of driving the economy. Residential investment fell 1% in Q-3, the seventh straight drop.

    Exports (+0.1%) and imports (+0.8%) were positive, as was government spending (+2.3%). The GDP and PCE deflators remained steady, at +1.7% and +1.4%, respectively.
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  4. #124
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    Manufacturing Is Now Officially In Recession, Despite Trump’s Vow To Boost Industry

    WASHINGTON — During President Trump’s first two years in office, his standing with many voters was buoyed by a surge in manufacturing that helped create millions of jobs and undergirded the whole U.S. economy.
    But today, manufacturing has plunged into recession and is threatening to pull down other sectors, perhaps hitting hardest on supporters in those states that helped put Trump in office.

    Impeachment may be dominating the news, but the less-noticed industrial slump ultimately could pose a greater threat to Trump’s reelection.

    As measured by the Federal Reserve, manufacturing output shrank over two straight quarters this year. That’s the common definition of recession.

    A separate, widely followed index drawn from purchasing managers showed September’s contraction in manufacturing was the steepest since June 2009, with production, inventories and new orders all falling.

    And after adding nearly half a million jobs in the prior two years, which Trump frequently stressed in hard-hat rallies throughout the Midwest, manufacturing employment has stalled.

    Instead of healthy job growth, layoff announcements have surged this year, especially in battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan. Friday’s jobs report for September showed a slight drop in total factory jobs.

    Manufacturing today accounts for only about 10% of economic activity, and so far, the overall economy and employment in the U.S. are still growing. But the pace has slowed considerably this year. The faltering industrial sector has started to crimp businesses in the transportation and warehousing sectors. And there are growing worries of spillover effects in the larger services sector and broader economy.

    Even if the nation can avoid a recession next year, a manufacturing downturn could prove to be politically damaging for Trump, who rode to the White House on enthusiastic support from blue-collar workers in key states and on his promise to revive America’s coal, steel and other industries.

    Although manufacturing constitutes a far smaller portion of the whole U.S. economy than it once did, it remains very important in a handful of swing states that Trump narrowly won in 2016 — including Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

    In the months before the 2016 election, it didn’t help Hillary Clinton’s prospects that manufacturing was on the skids and factory jobs were shrinking, thanks to a drop-off in energy-related investments, a strong dollar and lackluster demand for American goods in emerging economies.

    Some of those same factors are again weighing against American industry. But analysts and business leaders say the single biggest restraint on manufacturing this year has been of Trump’s own making: excessive use of tariffs and his trade wars with China and other countries.

    Of utmost concern has been Trump’s confrontation with China, the world’s second-largest economy. Many American firms have major operations there — both manufacturing, such as smartphones, and sales, such as motor vehicles. And U.S. companies rely on China for a big chunk of their sales and profits.

    U.S. businesses have put off spending on major equipment and buildings as they’ve sought to look through the fog of a swirling trade conflict marked by Trump’s haphazard tariff actions and off-and-on negotiations.

    U.S. and Chinese officials concluded high-level talks Friday in Washington, and afterward Trump announced that the two sides had reached a partial, tentative agreement on trade. He called it a “Phase One deal” that includes a big increase in Chinese purchases of U.S. farm goods. In return, he agreed to halt a planned tariff hike that was to take effect next week on some Chinese goods. The agreement, which must still be formalized in the coming weeks, isn’t expected to have a major effect on manufacturing anytime soon.

    Jim Springer, chief financial officer of Industrial Nut Corp. in Sandusky, Ohio, doesn’t need the Fed and a bunch of economists to tell him that manufacturing is in recession. He can see it in his 111-year-old family business making locknuts and other fasteners.

    Springer, 58, who runs the company with his father and three brothers, remembers when orders took off at the end of 2016. Sales surged 30% in 2017 and went up an additional 14% last year, to just shy of the company’s record-high sales of $20.25 million in 2006.

    It’s been downhill since the first quarter, however, as the company’s largest customers, such as Caterpillar Inc., the big manufacturer of tractors and construction trucks, started to scale back. Sales at Industrial Nut are expected to fall about 10% this year, and Springer says tariffs are a big culprit. They’ve hurt the company both by making raw materials more expensive and by slowing sales in China for companies such as Caterpillar, and those effects have trickled down to parts suppliers like Industrial Nut.

    “The magnitude of the loss we’re seeing from tariffs far outweighs the benefits of the tax cuts,” Springer said, referring to the GOP-led move to shave the U.S. corporate tax rate to 21% from 35% starting in 2018.

    “That was pro-business, and it was nice,” he added, but “the tariffs are just too blunt of an instrument.”

    Like manufacturers across the country, Industrial Nut has recently begun to reduce overtime hours for workers, and Springer says the company is managing labor costs also through attrition and retirement of its aging workforce.

    Sandusky County, some 60 miles west of Cleveland along Lake Erie, has a population of about 59,000. Manufacturing accounts for roughly 40% of the county’s private employment and has been shedding jobs since the middle of last year. In 2016, Trump won the county with 58% of the vote, even though it went to Obama in both 2012 and 2008.

    “Our shop floor is divided,” Springer said of the company’s 40 hourly employees, who are represented by the United Steelworkers. “Some people love him, the ‘fake news’ things ... and there are those who don’t trust him.”

    He added, “It’ll be very difficult [for him] to get reelected in a recession. Then again, the alternatives aren’t very appealing from a pro-business perspective.”

    Most analysts see U.S.-China tensions remaining high in coming months. And that probably means little relief on tariffs and continued uncertainty for businesses, which will keep manufacturing limping along.

    Michael Hicks, a regional economist at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., said there was a greater than 50% chance of a national recession in the next 12 months. Indiana has the country’s largest concentration of manufacturing, accounting for some 22% of the state’s economy — about double the U.S. average.

    Trends in recreational vehicles, made in northern Indiana, have been a good indicator of recent recessions, and shipments are down about 20% this year, Hicks said. By year’s end, he predicted, it won’t be just Indiana’s manufacturing jobs that will be down from a year ago but employment overall for the state.

    “Indiana has never had a year where employment dropped for the year and the U.S. was not in recession,” he said.

    Trump isn’t likely to lose Indiana in 2020; it has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate only five times since 1900, most recently in 2008, when Barack Obama narrowly beat Mitt Romney.

    But industrial activity in Indiana is deeply intertwined with manufacturing in nearby states that are not rock-solid Republican — especially Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.

    Wisconsin, which Trump took by a mere 22,748 votes in 2016, the narrowest of his vote margins in any state, is second to Indiana in its reliance on manufacturing.

    Wisconsin has one of the state’s lowest jobless rates in the country, just 3.1% in August. Manufacturing payrolls, however, have been mostly declining since September and are down for the year, as the trade war and other forces have hurt manufacturers in industrial machinery, metal fabrication, paper products and food processing.

    “Tariffs are one of the reasons that our production costs have increased, along with increases in the costs of raw materials, labor and freight,” said Donna Parke, marketing and services manager at Tramontina, which in the summer closed its cookware plant in Manitowoc, Wis., and consolidated it with factories in Brazil. The shutdown eliminated 145 jobs.

    Like Tramontina, much of Wisconsin’s manufacturing operations and workforce are in rural areas, which, along with better-than-expected support in Milwaukee suburbs, helped Trump squeak out a win over Clinton.

    Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll, said that, for Wisconsin voters in 2016, manufacturing and the overall performance of the economy took a back seat. Voters were more concerned about cultural conservatism and felt pessimistic about the future of the country, factors that made Trump more appealing to them.

    But Franklin noted that, in late August, a substantially greater share of Wisconsin’s registered voters said they expected the economy over the next year to get worse rather than better. It was only the second time in more than 50 surveys conducted since 2012 in which economic pessimism was stronger than optimism for the future.

    The only other time was in January, also this year, around the time of the federal government shutdown.

    “This represents a weakness of a central part of Trump’s rhetoric,” Franklin said. “We may not be in a full-blown recession, but enough that that could play a role in 2020.”
    _____________
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  5. #125
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    The fiscal fiasco thus far

    2016 Budget proposals (issued Feb 2, 2015) vs. Actual results and current forecasts
    US$ Billion

    _ _ _ Balance (actual) _ _ Debt held by public (actual)
    2016 _ -474 (-585)_ _ _ _ _ 14,108 (14,168)
    2017 _ -463 (-665) _ _ _ _ _ 14,705 (14,665)
    2018 _ -479 (-779) _ _ _ _ _15,315 (15,750)
    2019 _ -518 (-960) _ _ _ _ _ 15,959 (16,685) _ _ CBO Aug 2019
    2020 _ -554 (1,008) _ _ _ _ _16,635 (17,755) _ _ CBO Aug 2019

    Call it a trillion dollar mistake, thus far.
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  6. #126
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    So how is the trade war going in your state?

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-china-exports

  7. #127
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    Recession watch

    In spite of bad journalism, a recession is a broad contraction in economic activity. Given the tiny share of the US economy that manufacturing comprises – 11% of the economy and a smaller share of employment – the term “manufacturing recession” is appropriate only for that segment of the whole.

    For the economy as a whole, the data do not -- as yet -- suggest a recession.

    Real GDP +2% in Q-3 (YoY; +1.9% QQ), +2.3% in Q-2 (+2%) and +2.7% in Q-3 (+3.1%)
    Civilian employment +1.2% in Q-3, +0.9% in Q-2, +1.2% in Q-1
    (interestingly, manufacturing employment +1.0%, +1.4%, and +1.9%)
    Real disposable income +2.9% in Q-3, +3.2% in Q-2, and +3.3% in Q-1
    Real retail sales +2.2% in Q-3, up from 1.5% in Q-2 and 1.1% in Q-1

    Rising number of jobs.
    Rising incomes.
    Rising spending.

    That covers about three-quarters of the economy.
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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    So how is the trade war going in your state?

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-china-exports
    Looking at my part of Virginia, I have noticed this year farms growing cotton & sorghum which for years raised soybeans which were exported to China. And a recent report stated that this market was gone forever because Brazil has taken over the markets.

    One saving grace to the economy here is a Chinese company bought Smithfield so there is still pork being exported to China.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
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  9. #129
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    As anticipated, revised up. Winning!
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1Y11LY

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    As anticipated, revised up. Winning!
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1Y11LY
    Oh yes it's all roses and rainbows:

    There are signs the economy slowed early in the fourth quarter amid a cooling in consumer spending and a deepening downturn in business investment.

    The Trump administration’s trade war with China has eroded business confidence, contributing to the second straight quarterly contraction in business investment. The fading stimulus from last year’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package is also sapping momentum from the expansion, now in its 11th year.

    Growth has slowed from the 3.1% rate notched in the first three months of the year. But the risks of a recession in the near term have subsided as the housing market has rebounded from last year’s soft patch, driven by lower mortgage rates.

    The Federal Reserve last month cut interest rates for the third time this year and signaled a pause in the easing cycle that started in July when it reduced borrowing costs for the first time since 2008.

    Growth in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, was unrevised at a 2.9% rate in the third quarter.

    Consumer spending is being supported by the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 50 years. But moderating job growth, ebbing consumer confidence and stalling wage gains are raising doubts about the consumer’s resilience.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  11. #131
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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    Maybe if Nancy would take up the USMCA, that would boost the economy a bit?

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    Maybe if Nancy would take up the USMCA, that would boost the economy a bit?
    Ahhh there we go. It's all the Dems fault of course.
    “You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if the Senate determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role… because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”
    ~ Lindsey Graham

    "The notion that you can withhold information and documents from Congress no matter whether you are the party in power or not in power is wrong. Respect for the rule of law must mean something, irrespective of the vicissitudes of political cycles."
    ~ Trey Gowdy

  13. #133
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfgun View Post
    As anticipated, revised up. Winning!
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1Y11LY
    The boost in consumer spending is wholly due to a surge in Kool-aid sales...
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  14. #134
    Senior Contributor surfgun's Avatar
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  15. #135
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    How much payed in subsidies to farmers? Does it top the golf bill?

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