Wednesday, January 03, 2018

New York Times Notices Trump Era Economic Optimism

The New York Times has a mostly favorable piece about the business community's reaction to the rollback of stifling regulations on the economy. I know, I'm pleasantly surprised, too, that the paper would run such an article, but it's a new year. I'll chalk it up to a fresh start and be happy for some honesty in the press. 


A wave of optimism has swept over American business leaders, and it is beginning to translate into the sort of investment in new plants, equipment and factory upgrades that bolsters economic growth, spurs job creation — and may finally raise wages significantly.
Sounds good, right? More infrastructure, job creation and rising wages were all promised by President Trump when he was candidate Trump. The return of optimism was predictable, too, with the exit of President Barack Obama. His focus was on taking over 1/6 of the economy with Obamacare, the definition of abusive regulations and mandates. 

But in the administration and across the business community, there is a perception that years of increased environmental, financial and other regulatory oversight by the Obama administration dampened investment and job creation — and that Mr. Trump’s more hands-off approach has unleashed the “animal spirits” of companies that had hoarded cash after the recession of 2008. 
After eight years of business crushing actions and governmental overreach by the Obama administration, the indicators of a strengthening in financial markets and optimistic growth remain strong. The DOW has reached all-time highs since Trump's inauguration. A record number of consecutive days with record closing numbers occurred in 2017. Companies are committing to bringing operations back from overseas, giving workers year-end bonuses and paycheck raises and hiring more people. 


The Business Roundtable, a corporate lobbying group in Washington, reported last month that “regulatory costs” were no longer the top concern of American executives, for the first time in six years. Mr. Zandi said that regulation was still the top concern in Moody’s survey of business confidence, but that it was rapidly losing ground to concerns about the availability of labor.
The National Association of Manufacturers’ fourth-quarter member survey found that fewer than half of manufacturers cited an “unfavorable business climate” — including regulations and taxes — as a challenge to their business, down from nearly three-quarters a year ago.
2018 is off to a good start.

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