We’re seeing a broad-based acceleration in economic growth here and abroad. Outside some kind of black-swan event, 2018 could end up being the strongest year for growth since 2011. That being said, I don’t think this has been a normal economic recovery, and I don’t think there’s going to be anything that’s normal on how this all ends. For now, enjoy the melt-up, because this too will come to an end.
The following is a summary of the podcast, “The Meltup Before the Meltdown,” which can be accessed on the Financial Sense.com site here or on iTunes here.
We’re likely near the end of this business cycle and, normally, when we come to the end, all seems well: the economy is booming, stocks are hitting records, and people are making money.
For example, think back to the stock market in 1999 and the first 3 months of 2000. The Nasdaq went vertical in a classic, melt-up euphoria as everyone piled into the sector driving the “New Economy”.
As we move closer to the top of this market, we’re more likely to see euphoria. Right now,
- mutual funds and stocks are going up by double digits,
- unemployment is low, consumer confidence is high,
- retail sales are up,
- and the economy is booming.
All of these indicators normally occur around the end of the cycle, and we know what eventually triggers that end: a Fed rate raising cycle, which we are now in.
Good Times May Trigger the Shift
The economic numbers have been picking up. The economy is growing, finally above the 2% GDP range we’ve been stuck in for years, and we could see GDP at 3% for Q3.
- PMIs appear to be very strong, especially the ISM Manufacturing and Non Manufacturing Indexes. In September, the ISM Manufacturing hit its highest level in 13 years….
Another big consideration is that times aren’t just good in the U.S. but internationally…as well.
Global growth is in sync for the first time since after the recovery. In fact, the IMF recently raised its forecast for this year to 3.6% and 3.7% for next year. To put this in perspective, this is a major improvement from the last 8 years, and even last year, where global growth was 3.2%.
What we’re seeing is a broad-based acceleration in economic growth here and abroad. Outside some kind of black-swan event, 2018 could end up being the strongest year for growth since 2011.
With things heating up…the Republican tax plan is coming at a bad time — potentially helping to stoke the euphoria necessary for the end scenario to play out…
A tax cut could extend the business cycle a while longer, but it could also spike inflation and encourage the Fed to be more aggressive with rate hikes. We could have monetary policy counteracting and fighting fiscal policy, and that ends in a train wreck. Also, because of flaws in the legislation, such as the removal of certain exemptions, this plan will only be setting the stage for higher taxes down the road…
There has been nothing that has been normal about this economic recovery, and I don’t think there’s going to be anything that’s normal on how this all ends. For now, enjoy the melt-up, because this too will come to an end.
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