January 6, 2017— Job growth came in at 156,000 for December, which was in line with our expectations of 155,000 but below the consensus median estimate of 175,000. For all of 2016, the U.S. added 2.2 million new jobs or about 180,000 per month. That is well below the 2.7 million added in 2015 when the monthly average was about 230,000 and even farther below the 2014 which was the strongest year for job growth of this recovery.
January 11, 2017–Recent volatility in the value of the U.S. dollar index (DXY) and the Chinese currency (CNY) would indicate rising concerns about the likelihood of trade disputes between the incoming Trump administration and China. President-elect Trump has criticized China for “eating our lunch.” He has threatened to impose large tariffs on Chinese imports, suggesting that his goal is to negotiate a good deal with China that would be fair for American companies and workers.
December 16, 2016—Inflation was up 1.7% year-over-year in November, and we suspect it will move above 2% for the next several months. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) posted its fourth consecutive increase in the month of November, 0.2% higher than the October reading and 1.7% higher than a year earlier. This is the strongest annual advance since October 2014. The slight increase in month-over- month terms was exactly as the market expected.