Too early to tell, but here was something interesting which points in that direction…
U.S. companies added a whopping 298,000 new jobs in February, beating economists’ expectations by more than 100,000.
Trump tweeted a self-congratulatory note, calling the number ‘much more than expected!’
‘February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years,’ Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president of the ADP Research Institute, said in a statement.
January’s new-jobs numbers were also revised upward on Wednesday from 246,000 to 261,000.
‘Confidence is playing a large role,’ Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, told CNBC.
‘Businesses are anticipating a lot of good stuff – tax cuts, less regulation. They are hiring more aggressively.’
The official U.S. unemployment rate is expected to shift downward from 4.8 per cent to 4.7 per cent, in response to the official jobs numbers report, due Friday.
You already know about the run-up in the stock market since Trump’s election; some $3 trillion of wealth has been created in that market since Nov. 8 of last year. But the Dow Jones Industrial Average stopped being a viable metric of economic performance some time ago, when Fed policies and other government actions funneled all the investment dollars out of other vehicles and into stocks, and at some point when some of those come back it will likely be at the expense of the stock market.
Similarly, the official unemployment rate is a poor metric since it doesn’t count all the people who have given up on trying to get a job; that rate will at some point begin to rise as economic growth incentivizes people into the work force and some lag time exists before they’re all employed.
Still, it’s beginning to look as though the economy is finally percolating after eight years of unmitigated stagnation. We won’t know until later this spring what GDP growth in the first quarter will look like, but the bet is that number is likely going to be on the high end of any number the American economy posted during the Obama years.
Which was foreseeable. We now have an administration which wishes to promote economic growth, rather than wealth redistribution – and that matters.