Dan Celia Addresses March Jobs, Markets, Labor Participation, China Tariffs and More
A Stunning Concern: Consumer Debt at $1 Trillion and Consumer Borrowing Up Dramatically
PHILADELPHIA—Nationally syndicated host and biblical investing authority Dan Celia rounded up several of the most pressing economic issues today and will continue to address breaking headlines this week on his daily, three-hour “Financial Issues” program, heard on about 650 stations nationwide.
“Some things we’ll be watching this week are inflation numbers, producer price index numbers and the consumer price index,” Celia said. “The consumer sentiment coming out on Friday will be an important number because we’re very close to dipping below 100. The NFIB Small Business Index is also coming out, along with news about China, trade tariffs and Syria—all headlines that will affect the markets, especially as Steven Mnuchin noted just yesterday, after a very uncertain week, that taxes, penalties and tariffs are not imminent. Certainly, this will be in the news for some time, and as the rhetoric appears to be softening a bit, it could ramp up very quickly. After all, we can turn around the entire outlook of the markets this week with just a single tweet. But I’ll remain concerned with the underlying fundamentals of the economy, hoping they stay strong and that we can see a better economy continuing to move forward.”
Celia also said that Friday’s announcement of just 103,000 private-sector jobs added in March was not good news at all, yet the Standard & Poor’s 500 index shows the lowest multiples since Brexit, which is positive for buyers.
“Labor participation stayed steady at 62.9, but wages did not do as well, as they dropped off a bit,” Celia added. “One of my concerns is that construction jobs are down, and that is a negative as we look ahead, Borrowing and consumer debt continue to go up, along with consumer confidence. We have $1 trillion of consumer debt in autos, student loans and credit card debt, and we are watching borrowing go up to $.90 for every dollar being spent—up from $.45. That is stunning and concerning.”
Amid all of this, Celia continues, China says it will negotiate on trade under this current environment.
“All of this will weigh on the markets, though some of it should be good news because this will slow down the Federal Reserve, which has been talking about the possibility of five rate hikes,” Celia said. “I’m sure that conversation will not continue in light of some of these numbers, and we expect the minutes from the Fed’s recent meeting soon. It seems as though the days of bad news for the economy being good news for the markets are over; economic bad news now seems bad for the markets as well. Most of the problems with the markets right now are still trade and tariffs, and the uncertainty and concerns surrounding those, as it would appear we’re getting closer to trade wars as opposed to further away.”
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