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January 23, 2017

Donald J. Trump became the 45th President of the United States last Friday 1/20/17.  Trump’s inauguration address sounded much like the stump speech that he gave daily during the rough-and-tumble 2016 campaign.  The 70-year old promised once again to put the forgotten American worker first on his crowded agenda.  Tax reform didn’t receive a mention during his 16-minute address, but trade, tariffs and protectionism did.  His first executive order signed on Friday afternoon dealt with alleviating the burden of regulations facing US businesses.  Trump has his ardent base of supporters along with detractors.  This week begins the interaction between the two strong-willed groups (source: BTN Research).

Xi Jinping, the President of China, sounded more like a US President than the head of the world’s largest communist country last week in Switzerland.  President Xi, speaking before a group of world leaders and CEOs, said “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war.”  He compared protectionism, a favorite theme for many of President Trump’s supporters, to “locking oneself in a dark room.”  Xi assured the attendees that China “will keep its door wide open and not close it” (source: Davos Forum).

Inflation (as measured by the Consumer Price Index) advanced by +2.1% during 2016.  Inflation in 2015 (+0.7%) and 2014 (+0.8%) were 2 of the 3 lowest rates of annual inflation in the United States in the last 50 years, i.e., 1967-2016.  Last year’s inflation rate was the first time our country has met the Fed +2% annual target since 2011 (source: Department of Labor).

 

Notable Numbers

WEALTH – The richest 1% of individuals in the world have a collective net worth that exceeds the collective net worth of the other 99% of people in the world (source: Oxfam International).

IMPACT ON OUR RATES? – China has cut its holdings of US Treasuries to $1.05 trillion as of November 2016, its lowest level since May 2010.  Since peaking at $1.32 trillion in November 2013, the Chinese have sold $267 billion of Treasuries in an effort to support its own currency (source: Treasury Department).

YOU ARE REPLACEABLE – Although just 5% of occupations consist of activities that are 100% automatable, i.e., they could be replaced entirely by technology or robots, 60% of all occupations have at least 30% of their daily activities that are automatable (source: McKinsey Global Institute).

LET’S GO – For every 2 families that moved into South Dakota last year, just 1 family moved out, making South Dakota the “top moving destination” state.  For every 1 family that moved into New Jersey last year, 2 families moved out, placing New Jersey last on the same list (source: United Van Lines).

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