The Feds claim the country’s 2.0 percent economic growth is good even though growth was 3.1 percent at the end of 2018. Steve Mnuchin claims the Boeing 737 Max debacle will take a big bite out of 2020 economic growth. Steve still claims the economy grew by 2.5 percent in 2019. But actual growth was in the 2.0 neighborhood.
The signs of a weakened economy continue to flash red. Wall Street economists know stock market prices have a lot of Trump’s hot air in them. Corporate profits continue to erode, but the stock market continues to reach new heights. That means stock prices don’t reflect the true economic health of the country. And the low unemployment figure is low because people who can work stopped looking for work. Those unemployed workers are not in that 3.5 percent unemployment number.
The Feds think it has enough cash to handle an economic downturn in 2020. But economists think the Feds need to get serious about the impact of the Iran debacle, and Trump’s tariff war with China. Consumer confidence dropped for the third straight month in December. And thanks to Trump’s attack on Iran the January economic report will show consumers worry about a missile-shooting war with Iran and North Korea.
The Chinese bought $20 billion worth of soybeans, corn, and wheat in 2017. But that was before Trump started tariff-screwing China and American consumers. But now that Chinese importers developed a relationship with Brazil, Argentina, and Mexican farmers, the chance of living up to the terms of the phase one agreement seems like a stretch.
Trump needs to declare a trade war win and phase one gives him bragging rights even though most economists call the agreement a truce rather than a solution. The tech part of the trade war will continue in 2020, and that means American consumers will pay more than $30 billion in tariff-taxes this year.
Russian hackers want to help Trump confirm his theory Joe Biden did a quid pro quo number on Ukraine when he was VP. The Russians hacked Burisma, the Ukraine gas company where Hunter Biden was a high-paid board member. The hackers used the same approach they used to get Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016. But it’s unclear how Trump plans to use the information he’ll get from his pal Putin during the 2020 campaign.