Christine Romans: Drip, drip, drip of bad news for the US economy continues

Yes, the economy is growing and unemployment is at 50 years low. But business leaders and economists are increasingly worried that the president's trade war with China has spread beyond the industrial sector.


An overnight study released by the National Association for Business Economics lowered growth expectations for next year to below 2%, citing protectionism, trade uncertainty and slowing global growth. NABE's forecasts matter. These are the economists who work for companies. Their forecasts go straight to their bosses in the C suite who make plans for expenses and hiring.


The New York Fed has lowered GDP for the fourth quarter to just 1[ads1].3%. The forecast for the year is 2%, well below the growth of 4 and even 5% as the president promised that his tax and regulatory cuts would be released.


The creation of the job in the industry has stopped. The sector itself the president promised to save with his tariffs and tough talk, throwing jobs. In September, the industry lost 2,000 jobs. Over the past year, Pennsylvania has lost more than 7,700 manufacturing jobs, and Wisconsin has shed more than 5,200.
But wait! NABE predicts that the US economy will stop, but will not tip into the recession. And the unemployed in 50 years is low at only 3.5%. "Suppose that," Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro told CNN Friday.

That's the bullshit, to be sure. But the dips continue, and economists worry job numbers are a limiting indicator. In a note to clients this morning, Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics: "The unexpected fall in unemployment in September is noise, not signal; the trend will soon rise." Adds, "Wage growth will be down to just $ 50,000 by the end of the year; direct fall is possible."

The President blames the Fed and a strong dollar. The Federal Reserve could lower interest rates later this month to try to contain the damage.

But corporate executives blame corporate uncertainty and global growth. They want a resolution of the trade war with China. Quickly.

A new round of talks is expected to begin this week in Washington.

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