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White House says no recession in sight; pushes China trade talks

18 Comments
By Howard Schneider

White House officials pushed back on Sunday against concerns that economic growth may be faltering, saying they saw little risk of recession despite a volatile week on global bond markets, and insisting their trade war with China was doing no damage to the United States.

Trump administration economic adviser Larry Kudlow said trade deputies from the two countries would speak within 10 days and "if those deputies meetings pan out...we are planning to have China come to the USA" to advance negotiations over ending a trade battle that has emerged as a potential risk to global economic growth.

But even with the stalks stalled for now and the threat of greater tariffs and other trade restrictions hanging over the world economy, Kudlow said on "Fox News Sunday" the United States remained "in pretty good shape."

"There is no recession in sight," Kudlow said. "Consumers are working. Their wages are rising. They are spending and they are saving."

His comments follow a rocky week in which concerns about a possible U.S. recession began to drive financial markets and seemed to put administration officials on edge about whether the economy would hold up through the 2020 presidential election campaign. Democrats on Sunday argued Trump's trade policies are now posing an acute, short-term risk.

U.S. stock markets tanked last week on recession fears with all three major U.S. indexes closing down about 3% on Wednesday only to pair their losses by Friday due to expectations the European Central Bank might cut rates.

The Fed and 19 other central banks have already loosened monetary policy in what Fitch Ratings last week described as the largest shift since the 2009 recession.

Markets are expecting even more cuts to come. For a brief time last week bond investors demanded a higher interest rate on 2-year Treasury bonds than for 10-year Treasury bonds, a potential signal of lost faith in near-term economic growth.

Much of the uncertainty surrounds prospects for a resolution of the trade tensions between the United States and China.

The administration last week delayed the imposition of some of its planned tariffs to avoid disrupting the upcoming Christmas shopping season. President Donald Trump told reporters he had a call with China’s President Xi Jinping scheduled soon. It had not taken place as of Saturday night.

Trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday dismissed last week's market volatility as any sort of warning sign, saying "good" economic dynamics were encouraging investors to move money to the United States.

"We have the strongest economy in the world and money is coming here for our stock market. It's also coming here to chase yield in our bond markets," Navarro told ABC's "This Week."

For bond markets, the sort of movement Navarro described is often driven by trouble - in this case the possibility that the trade battle with China is lasting far longer than expected and becoming disruptive to business investment and growth.

Still, Navarro said the tariffs on Chinese goods, "are not hurting anybody here."

The U.S. economy does continue to grow and add jobs each month. Retail sales in July jumped a stronger-than-expected 0.7%, the government reported last week, and Kudlow said that number showed that the main prop of the U.S. economy is intact.

But manufacturing growth has slowed and lagging business investment has become a drag. Globally, flagging trade flows have pushed the German economy toward recession, and dampened growth in China.

A slowdown would be bad news for Trump, who is building his 2020 bid for a second term around the economy's performance. He told voters at a rally last week they had "no choice" but to vote for him to preserve their jobs and investments.

Despite talking up the economy, the president and his advisers have repeatedly accused the Fed of undermining the administration's economic policies. On Sunday, Kudlow again pointed the finger at the central bank, describing rate hikes through 2017 and 2018 as "very severe monetary restraint."

The Fed hiked rates seven times over those two years as part of a plan to restore normal monetary policy following the emergency steps taken to battle the 2007-2009 global financial crisis and recession.

Even with those steps, the Fed's target interest rate has remained well below historic norms, and policymakers have started cutting rates in response to growing global risks.

Democratic presidential candidates on Sunday joined the many economic analysts who have said the administration's sometimes erratic policies on trade -- at one point threatening tariffs on Mexico over immigration issues -- are to blame for increased uncertainty, disappointing business investment and market volatility.

“I’m afraid that this president is driving the global economy and our economy into recession," Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Speaking to CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, Democratic South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg criticized the administration for failing to deliver a deal with China.

"There is clearly no strategy for dealing with the trade war in a way that will lead to results for American farmers, or American consumers," he said.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2019.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

18 Comments
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Kudlow was the Bush administration economic genius who guaranteed that there would be no recession in 2008. He is no smarter now than he was then. And he still has no credible economics creds.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

whether the economy would hold up through the 2020 presidential election campaign.

The economy is the main thing Trump, McConnell and the GOP have going for them.

If the economy starts to weaken around election time, look for them to add to the federal subsidies already given to oil, defense, farm and other corporations, aka socialism for the rich, while further increasing the national debt.

The prime beneficiaries of Trump's intervention in the markets will once again be Trump's .01% supporters, already benefiting from the Trump/GOP tax cuts.

Given Trump, McConnell, Lindsey Graham and other Republican's close connections with 'foreign' nations, look for those 'foreign' nations to invest even more in GOP districts

while they're increasing their anti-American media propaganda.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If the economy starts to weaken around election time, look for them to add to the federal subsidies already given to oil, defense, farm and other corporations, aka socialism for the rich, while further increasing the national debt.

Bit, but short-term socialism is okay as long as it's being doled out by Donny.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Larry Kudlow on tariffs in 2018....

In fact, tariff hikes are really tax hikes.

Trump should also examine the historical record on tariffs, because they have almost never worked as intended and almost always deliver an unhappy ending.

Richard Nixon's 10 percent import surcharge contributed to the stagflation of the 1970s.

George W. Bush tried to save the steel industry by imposing tariffs on steel and If those tariffs worked, we wouldn't be having this discussion today. ‎We tried to save the color TV industry with protectionist measures and instead they wiped out the domestic production.

Ronald Reagan in the 1980s invoked anti-dumping provisions against Japanese steel. It was one of his few decisions he later confessed he wishes he hadn't made. ‎Trump will come to learn the same thing, and we hope it is sooner, not later.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/03/kudlow-mr-president-tariffs-are-really-tax-hikes.html

Larry Kudlow now....

Trump tariffs have hurt China.....

That's the kind of dimwits and hypocrites we have running our economy - running it into the ground just like they did the last time the Repubs were in power...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A slowdown would be bad news for Trump

The Democrats are salivating at the prospect of a slowdown.

This is interesting:

Media thinks a recession would stop Trump's reelection

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GaiY656ooA

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The Democrats are salivating at the prospect of a slowdown.

Nope. Tee Hee! HAR! Oh my . . .

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The Democrats are salivating at the prospect of a slowdown.

Yeah, like how you guys were salivating at the prospect of electing a troll into office.

Don't expect us to feel bad for working within the environment your team created.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Democrats are salivating at the prospect of a slowdown.

Nope. Tee Hee! HAR! Oh my . . .

They're not? So, they're hoping for the economy to remain strong, are they? Har!

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Kudlow said there would be no recession in 2008, now "it's different".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Saw a tweet today that kinda sums it up

are you telling me that the guy who ran a scam university and a scam charity and a scam magazine and a scam airline and sold scam mortgages and scam steaks and scam vodka and scam -expletive- water for -expletive- sake, has been running a scam economy? -Expletive- me, I did not see that coming

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The White House also said winning trade wars is easy.

The White House is run by a moron.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

They're not? So, they're hoping for the economy to remain strong, are they? Har!

Of course they are. Where'd you get the asinine idea that any American politician wants the economy to tank?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Everything that comes out of the White house is fake news..nothing more..10 thousand lies and counting...so if they say there is not going to be a recession you can guarantee there will be...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

are you telling me that the guy who ran a scam university and a scam charity and a scam magazine and a scam airline and sold scam mortgages and scam steaks and scam vodka and scam -expletive- water for -expletive- sake, has been running a scam economy? -Expletive- me, I did not see that coming

But he built one of the most iconic casinos in Las Vegas, properties all over the world, a giant skyscraper in his name, a 757, a helicopter, a hot wife and the Presidency. Destroyed 16 Republicans and 1 corrupt Dem, in all honesty, can’t beat that.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

But he built one of the most iconic casinos in Las Vegas, properties all over the world, a giant skyscraper in his name, a 757, a helicopter, a hot wife and the Presidency. Destroyed 16 Republicans and 1 corrupt Dem, in all honesty, can’t beat that

don’t forget the six bankruptcies with contractors not getting paid for work done. Trump took the food off their tables. Banks took their homes. Trump had to get $1.5 billion off his dad to pay his debts .

Then there was the fake Trump university.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

don’t forget the six bankruptcies with contractors not getting paid for work done. Trump took the food off their tables. Banks took their homes. Trump had to get $1.5 billion off his dad to pay his debts .

Then there was the fake Trump university.

But still the President, doesn’t get better and higher than to be the most powerful man in the world,

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

But still the President, doesn’t get better and higher than to be the most powerful man in the world,

Becoming president does not excuse his previous failings nor does taking the bread off the table of workers and their families indicate a worthy caring person.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Becoming president does not excuse his previous failings

None of us are perfect.

nor does taking the bread off the table of workers and their families indicate a worthy caring person.

Tell that to the people of Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that the Democrats deemed as deplorable, unworthy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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