1. September Retail Sales Strongest in 2½ Years
2. IMF Report: Global Economy Gaining Momentum
3. Federal Budget Deficit Hit $668 Billion in FY2017
4. Trump is Stacking US Courts With Scalia-Like Judges
While the mainstream media remains obsessed with President Trump’s tweets and other controversial statements, the Commander-in-Chief is quietly packing the federal courts with conservative, originalist judges who are not only very smart but also relatively young.
President Trump took office with more federal court vacancies than any of the last five presidents, with the exception of Bill Clinton. And Mr. Trump is wasting no time filling them: he has already made almost 60 nominations to the federal courts and has dozens more coming.
The president is literally remaking the judiciary with young conservatives who believe in the literal interpretation of the Constitution. Since the media is so obsessed with Mr. Trump’s unusual antics, they either haven’t noticed or are too busy bashing him for other things. It is for that reason that I want to let all of my clients and readers know about this good news.
Before we get to that discussion, let’s take a look at a couple of economic reports from last week. The September retail sales report last Friday was the strongest in 2½ years. The International Monetary Fund last week increased its estimate of global economic growth from 3.2% to 3.6% this year and raised its 2018 estimate to 3.7%.
Finally, we’ll look at the latest figures on the federal budget deficit for FY2017, which came in at a whopping $668 billion, up $82 billion over FY2016. This is a troubling trend that unfortunately looks to continue. Following that, I’ll get to our main topic today.
September Retail Sales Strongest in 2½ Years
US retail sales recorded their biggest monthly increase since March 2015 last month, in part due to clean-up and reconstruction efforts in areas devastated by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which boosted demand for building materials and motor vehicles.
The Commerce Department reported on Friday that retail sales jumped 1.6% in September – buoyed by a surge in receipts at service stations, which reflected higher gasoline prices after Harvey disrupted production at oil refineries in the Gulf Coast. For the 12 months ended September, retails sales increased 4.4%.
Sales at gardening and building material stores increased 2.1% last month, the biggest increase since February, and followed a 0.6% rise in August. Receipts at auto dealerships soared 3.6% last month as Americans in Texas, Florida and elsewhere replaced flood-damaged motor vehicles. Both of these sectors should continue to increase over the next several months.
IMF Report: Global Economy is Gaining Momentum
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported last Tuesday that the world economy is enjoying its most widespread and fastest growth spurt since a temporary bounce back from the global recession in 2010.
In its latest World Economic Outlook, published at the start of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in Washington, the IMF added that the unexpectedly good news has further to run in 2018 and rising capital higher investment was also beginning to improve its longer-term economic prognosis.
The IMF estimates that the world economy will expand 3.6% in 2017, up from its 3.2% forecast earlier this year, and it is likely to grow 3.7% in 2018. These growth rates are better than the norm for this decade and are finally back to the long-term average of the past 30 years.