January 2017: Changing of the Guard
January turned out to be a “wait and see” month as anticipation of the direction of the Trump administration gave way to a push-pull on whether Trump’s economic reforms were going to focus on spurring growth or settling trade scores. It seems negotiating with trade partners has taken precedence, as the termination of the US’s participation in the TransPacificPartnership (TPP) and heightened rhetoric toward the trade practices of Mexico and China has preceded any talk of tax reform or investment incentives. Economic data remained in Goldilocks territory, not too hot and not too cold. Q4 GDP and the nonfarmpayrolls report indicated the economy does not seem to be overheating, likely leaving the Fed on pause during the first quarter.