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American Optimism Over Economy Surging with Trump Presidential Win

Surging homebuilder optimism announced Thursday was yet another measure of Americans’ upbeat feelings about the economy in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as the next President of the United States.

A National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index revealed Thursday that “Builder confidence in the market for newly-built single-family homes” rose to its highest level since July 2005. This most recent index jumped seven points to 70.

“This notable rise in builder sentiment is largely attributable to a post-election bounce, as builders are hopeful that President-elect Trump will follow through on his pledge to cut burdensome regulations that are harming small businesses and housing affordability,” said NAHB Chairman Ed Brady.

The Chairman emphasized the importance of this in light of a 29 percent increase in regulatory costs for home building over five years.

“The rise in the HMI is consistent with recent gains for the stock market and consumer confidence,” said Brady who noted builder sensitivity to rising mortgage rates and lot and labor shortages.

Builder perceptions of single-family home sales and sales expectations for the next six months, as well as traffic of prospective buyers, rose across the board. Any measure that tops 50 “indicates that more builders view conditions as good than poor,” according to NAHB.

The measure of prospective buyer traffic rose six points to 53. That is the highest and first time it has topped 50 since 2005.

Small business optimism has skyrocketed in direct correlation with Trump’s presidential election victory on November 8. The National Federation of Independent Businesses November Index of Small Business Optimism bifurcated the month to measure small business optimism before and after the election. The results showed that owners expect big league better business conditions with a total November increase of 44 percent. Pre-election that expectation was negative six, but post-election it soared to 38 percent.

In November the index surged 3.5 points to 98.4 percent, only the third time since 2007 it had risen above a 42-year average. Small businesses are 14 percent more likely to hire post-election.

“The positive correlation between commodities and a strong dollar has been one of the most notable dislocations in past cross-asset relations since Donald Trump won the U.S. Presidency in November” according to analysts at brokerage services firm Jefferies cited in Dow Jones Business News. With news of Federal Reserve optimism on Wednesday that spurred the Fed to raise interest rates 0.25 percent, shares of commodities producers including miners rose.

The American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) fourth quarter economic outlook survey conducted from the day after the presidential election, November 9, to November 30 revealed that 62 percent of executive-level CPA decision makers in business and industry were now optimistic about the U.S. economy. That is up from just 38 percent in the third quarter. Only twice has that quarterly index been higher in the past four years. The same quarter just after the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2011 was ten points lower at 64.

Those surveyed in the AICPA index also were more likely to expand than the prior quarter and the same quarter a year ago. U.S. economic optimism alone jumped in 4Q16 to 76 from 64 in 4Q15. Revenues and profits were listed as expected to improve over the 12 months, as companies plan to hire and plan to spend on research and development and “other capital.” Each of these were listed as key performance indicators.

Gallup’s weekly U.S. Economic Confidence Index also rose above zero within two weeks of the election of Trump. The rise to eight as of 12/11/2016 marks the highest point in over eight years. This also marks only the second time in over eight years, since before Obama’s first election as President, that the index has risen over zero. The previous instance lasted a weeks from December 28, 2014 to February 15, 2015 and did not rise above five.

The 2014 midterm election just prior to the December 2014 spike delivered Republicans the U.S. Senate, giving them control of both houses of the U.S. Congress.

“Small businesses like unified Republican government,” Neil Dutta of Renaissance Macro Research LLC told Bloomberg, regarding the post-election surge in small business optimism.

“The Dow’s 8% gain in the five weeks after Donald Trump ’s victory is the biggest surge following any U.S. presidential election in history,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

On Wednesday the dollar became the strongest it has been against the Euro since 2003 according to Bloomberg. The rise came amidst the Fed announcement of optimism and a rate hike the same day.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana 

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