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Trump Economy Posts Strong Start to 2020

The US economy started on a good note this year. With record-highs in the stock market and the latest employment data showing solid job gains at the end of 2019, President Trump’s silver bullet in 2020 remained strong. This despite existing risks over escalated military tension with Iran and persisting uncertainty over the trade war with China.

All three stock market indexes briefly hit fresh record highs on Friday, Jan. 10.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged past the 29,000 mark on Friday for the first time ever.  The 30-stock index was up by 48 points, led by gains by Pfizer, Coca-Cola, and Apple. 

The S&P, a broader measure of the US stock market, climbed 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite also jumped 0.3%.

President Trump celebrated the good numbers and promised that even better days are ahead for the US economy.

 

Improved conditions between the US and Iran, as well as investors looking forward to easing trade tensions between Washington and China, reportedly drove the optimism. The two nations plan  to sign “Phase One” of their trade deal this week. 

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reported that despite the gloomy predictions on the impact of the negotiations, the US economy “sailed through two turbulent years of trade war with China with barely a scratch.”

Much of the US economy is largely unscathed by two turbulent years of trade war with China, economic indicators show,” the WSJ said over the weekend.

Good Job Numbers

The stock market surge followed the release of the December jobs data, which, despite coming in lower than expectations, is still proof of a solid employment market in the US with the unemployment level remaining at a 50-year low.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the US economy added 145,000 jobs in December, bringing the total job gains in 2019 to 2.1 million. Analysts expected the economy to add 158,000 to 160,000 jobs last month.

Retailers added 41,000 jobs in December, as employment in health care increased by 28,000.  The leisure and hospitality industry gained 40,000 jobs last month, construction employment added 20,000 and employment in professional and business services added 10,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the mining industry lost 8,000 in December. as did employment in transportation and warehousing, which dropped by 10,000. Manufacturing employment was down by 12,000 last month.

The unemployment rate also held steady at a half-century low of 3.5 percent.

White unemployment remained at 3.2 percent., Black unemployment was at 5.9 percent, Asian unemployment rate declined to 2.5 percent, while Hispanic unemployment also held steady at 4.2 percent.

The Labor Statistics said the number of unemployed persons remained unchanged at 5.8 million.

“A year earlier, the jobless rate was 3.9 percent, and the number of unemployed persons was 6.3 million,” it added.

Average hourly earnings also rose by 3 cents last month to $28.32. In 2019, hourly wages increased by 2.9 percent.

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