Is The Trump Boom Real? 

Are we experiencing a Trump boom? Between a booming stock market, consumer confidence rising to ten-year records and unemployment dropping some seem to be suggesting just that.

So what is the short answer? Maybe.

What about the long one? Only time will tell and I think the biggest marker is in three weeks on the first Friday in April. Monthly job numbers come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics every month but to understand why I think the next number is so important, let me give some context. While the unemployment rate dropped to 4.7% I think the bigger news was the Labor Participation Rate (LPR) rising to 63%, the best in a year. Since late 2013, when the LPR leveled off from its recession time drop, we have only seen it get to 63% twice (63% and 63.1%) but both those were one-month occurrences and we’re followed by a fall back down. It will be huge if this gain can either be maintained or improved upon in next month’s jobs report. That is the key and as I laid out here, while the Obama economy has experienced slow growth one of the biggest question looming over it was the shrinking labor force among working age adults.

If it was under Trump that this trend ended I would have to give serious consideration to there actually being a Trump Boom, but we will not know for sure if it was a Trump Boom for years. While it could be because the market forces a change from the anti-market policies of the last eight years it would also be an offshoot of the last eight years. Yes the LPR went up, but as I mentioned above, it reached this mark before and had been on an upward trend for a year. Yes, the stock market is rising but it has been rising since 2009. Yes, consumer confidence is at a ten year high but it has been working that way since late 2011.

Let us be honest with ourselves and slow down the celebration. Hopefully this is the boom the United States economy has been lacking for over a decade. Without a whole year of real Gross Domestic Product growth of more than three percent since 2005 the economy sure needs it.

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