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Ep. 241 Is Donald Trump The Next Jimmy C…arter

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Summary: Donald Trump's promises on healthcare and smaller government appear to be fading behind news of increased military spending, infrastructure spending and compromises on health care and tax reform. This scenario looks far more like Jimmy Carter than Ronald Regan. We continue to get bad economic data, telegraphing that the air is already leaking out of the economic bubbles created over the last 8 years. This bad news may encourage the Fed to walk back their current interest rate hike schedule, which would, if implemented, put a match to growing recessionary trends.

It is Good Friday today and most of the world's markets are closed, including the U.S. stock market
I want to wish all my listeners happy Good Friday and Easter and to my Jewish listeners happy Passover
But let me get to the economic data that came out this morning because some of the government offices are open today
I am starting with the Consumer Price Index, which is not bad from my perspective, but will be bad from Wall Street's perspective or the Fed's perspective
Although bad is good, in that it will give the Fed cover to not raise rates
Because the CPI actually dropped in March my 3 tenths of a percent
It was unexpected; it was supposed to be flat
And the Core number was supposed to be up .2 and it was down .1
I think this is the weakest inflation number in a couple of years
Of course, year over year, we're still above the Fed's 2% target
Year over year, CPI headline up 2.4% and the core is up 2.0
But the most recent number being down, may in fact give the Fed cover to walk back the market's expectations for 2 or 3 rate hikes coming later this year
But I think the more relevant information is the extremely weak number we got on retail sales
I was expecting a weak number
I mentioned that in my last podcast, and we got a weak number
But not only was it weak, but they revised the February number that was originally weak, much weaker
The expectation was for a flat month of March for retail sales
Versus the .1% gain that we eked out in February
Now, the government came back and said, "No, the February number was actually a drop of .3%
So instead of +.1% we dropped .3%
And in March, instead of being flat, we were down another .2%
So that means for the two months combined, we have a decline of .5% instead of an increase of .1%

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