|Diverging US economic data raise questions over ‘Trump bump’ |
Gap between hard numbers and buoyant mood of companies and consumers is widening
"Jarringly, this has coincided with a marked slowdown in business lending growth, muted corporate investment, and remarkably poor estimates for first-quarter gross domestic product. The Atlanta Fed’s GDP Now indicator on Friday signalled annualised growth of a measly 0.5 per cent in the first three months of the year. The same morning analysts were stunned by poor official inflation figures, with the first month-on-month fall in the core consumer price index since 2010, and weak retail sales. “US economic indicators have been throwing off mixed messages,” said Scott Anderson at Bank of the West. “Stocks have soared along with business and consumer confidence measures since the November election in anticipation of renewed fiscal stimulus and stronger economic growth. Yet harder data on industrial production, retail sales, and even last month’s employment report have so far proved disappointing.”
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