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Saturday October 21st 2017

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August 2017 Economic Overview

The US economy entered the ninth consecutive year of expansion. GDP for the second quarter increased by 2.6% and there are no signs that this trend might change. Since mid-2009, GDP growth has averaged 2.1%, while earlier years averaged over 3.6%. The difference is that today’s economy is vastly larger than those of the 1980s and 1990s.

This slow but steady growth has produced a long stretch of job creation and the economy is on a sound footing. The stock market appears to be fully valued given this outlook, but corporate profits should continue to grow. Consumers are confident and notwithstanding the circus we are seeing in Washington DC our outlook is rosy. Trump’s claim to overhaul the tax code and to renegotiate trade deals, that he can get the economy moving in excess of 3%. No breakout is imminent. The economy is firmly entrenched at a little better than 2%.

Trump’s fatuous decision to spurn the Paris agreement was opposed by most of his advisers, most big American firms and two-thirds of the American voters. It will not give life to the US coal industry nor will it solve problems with American environmental policy. He has chosen to abuse the health of the planet, to test the patience of America’s allies and insult the intelligence of his supporters and he is actively diminishing the image and reputation of the US world-wide.

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