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Dan Celia: Economic Data Won’t Have Much Meaning, But Details of Aid Packages Are Crucial

March 23, 2020

PHILADELPHIA—Important economic data for February is expected this week, along with a few numbers for March, but nationally syndicated host and biblical investing authority Dan Celia says that in light of the coronavirus dominating financial headlines, the figures won’t have much meaning.

“We’re getting a lot of important economic data this week, but it really isn’t going to mean much,” Celia said. “For March, we’ll see PMI manufacturing, service sector and consumer sentiment numbers. By the way, that’s a very important figure. But this is the consumer sentiment number coming out of Michigan, which I don’t feel good about. I’d rather wait for the consumer confidence index. But the consumer sentiment number on Friday is likely to be down considerably, probably as much as 10 points. It’s sitting around 96, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if it ends up in the neighborhood of 84 or 85.

“On Thursday, we get the last look for GDP for the fourth quarter of last year,” Celia continued. “It’s expected to stay the same at 2.1%, and that’s fine, but not many care about last year’s GDP. All eyes will be focused on the first quarter of this year and, of course, mostly second quarter, as we’re going to have a very ugly GDP number. Also out will be personal income and consumer spending—two very important numbers—but again, these are February numbers, so they will be OK. We had a good January and a good February, so there’s no reason at all that we should see these numbers drop off much. It will be the March number that will be really difficult.

“This week will be about nothing but the aid bills that are being passed through the Senate, how that shapes up and what that looks like,” Celia added. “I have some very good ideas that ought to be taken up with this bill, just to alleviate some of the stress people are having about supplying aid to America. I know these people are more focused on the debt than they are about the notion that we’re supplying aid. But aside from that, I think one of the ways to soften the blow is to have inside the package an exit strategy—a strategy that will include ownership of corporate America that we’re bailing out, as long as the bailouts are for the coronavirus. But we need to have a written part of the bill that indicates that the ownership will be sold once it reaches a certain percentage above the money provided, and it should be sold immediately. We don’t want to take ownership to hold ownership, but that money has to be designated to paying down the debt. It shouldn’t be used for anything else, and at least there would be a sense of responsibility about the aid packages that are being developed. I’m living in a fantasy world to think that will happen, but it’s something that should be considered.”

Celia discusses these and other global and economic headlines on his daily, three-hour Financial Issues program, heard on more than 660 radio stations and several television networks nationwide, including FISM.TV, viewed on several post-cable television platforms and online.

Read more about Celia, FISM and “Financial Issues” or visit the FISM website, its Facebook page, on YouTube at Financial Issues with Dan Celia or on Twitter @financialissues; download the FISM app here.


To book Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries’ Dan Celia, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or Patrick Benner, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.