It’s the Fall Harvest Season in many areas of the US, and soon will be in the rest. As the saying goes, as ye sow, so shall ye reap.
So what are we getting? According to a spate of press releases this morning from the Census and Commerce Departments:
- Manufacturing profits are up, but that’s largely a result of the change in tax law, not sales.
- Exports are down again. The US trade deficit increased by $5 billion in July due to a drop in exports. (Yes, Trump’s tariffs are hurting US exports more than imports!)
- Seasonally adjusted after tax retail sales were down $5 billion in the most recent quarter. (Meaning that without the change in tax law, they would have been down more.)
There’s no good news in this for workers or for investors. If you’ve got investments, it’s perhaps time to consider converting some to cash. If you don’t it’s time to stash as much money as possible in preparation for what’s ahead.
As I’ve said several times, the US economy has been artificially propped up by Federal deficit spending on infrastructure. That’s why the deficit is up 80% over last year. Even that may not keep the economy above water for much longer, and there’s a limit to how much overspending the government can do, especially if China stops buying us debt.