JUST JIM 233.
BUSINESS READY FOR TRUMP ROLLERCOASTER.
When the Trump presidency starts next Friday, the business community won’t be alone in wondering what happens next.
During the transition from President Obama to President Trump, economic indicators have generally been up on both sides of the Atlantic. Here the FTSE 100 has had its longest run of successive all-time peaks since it was set up in 1984. One of the reasons is Donald Trump’s commitment to increase infrastructure spending across the United States. Any business traveller will know The Donald is on to something here. Most of America’s airports are tired compared to their gleaming counterparts in Asia and the Middle East. It is the same with US roads and rail. It is the penalty Americans are paying for being first to embrace the car revolution in the post war years.
SME confidence is also strong in the UK. It rose from 2.9 to 8.5 in the last quarter according to the Federation of Small Business. Is this a spill over effect from Trump’s plans when he comes into office? Some economists believe that for every percentage point the US economy grows, advanced economies like the UK grow by 0.8%. The incoming President is planning tax cuts and increased defence spending as well as major infrastructure schemes that we have already discussed.
But business needs to be cautious. Trump is a loose cannon. We have already seen shares in pharmaceuticals crash as a result of the incoming President’s determination to repatriate manufacturing to the US. Bringing jobs home was a key election platform and has already led to Ford deciding to locate a car plant in Michigan instead of Mexico. Defence shares have also been hit by tweets sent out from Trump Tower.
Business will also be aware that the new President will be taking office with controversy swirling around his coiffured blonde hair. Has he done enough to distance himself from his global private interests? Is the team he has selected to run the great offices of state up to the job? Will he get the support of the Republican controlled Senate and House that the raw numbers suggest? Many don’t regard him as a real Republican. Then there is the personal stuff. Is he in thrall to the Russians over his peccadillos, and will he realise that he cannot run the United States by angry tweet.
Business on both sides of the pond have craved more business experience at the top of politics. Well the USA has got one and it will be fascinating to see if Trump can manage a political machine as well as he ran his boardroom. They are very different beasts.
Follow me at www.jimhancock.co.uk