Lagos, Nigeria: Today I spent much of the day with young entrepreneurs and bloggers. They have an enthusiasm and energy that’s unencumbered by the formidable challenges of making It here.
Most said they would go abroad if necessary to make it, but with the intent of returning home to help their own country develop and grow.
It’s easy to get into debates here about what’s wrong and what needs to be done to put it right. Everyone has an opinion. The issue is always the execution of any programs, plans and reforms.
I have little doubt Nigeria will reach the top tier of countries. How can it not? Especially with a population of 176 million and the largest land mass and economy in Africa. I look forward to my return here…which will be a lot sooner than the previous 10 years.
Sluggish growth continued to plague the US economy at the start of 2017. The U.S. only grew at an annualized pace of 0.7% in the first quarter. Although consumer confidence has soared since Trump won the 2016 election, it hasn’t translated to a jump in consumer spending. Retail sales declined in February and March. However, the economy is in good shape overall: Unemployment is low, job growth is solid and wage growth is gaining momentum.
The Trump rally has come in three waves. It kicked off after the election with exuberance over Trump’s agenda of tax cuts, infrastructure and deregulation. It was dealt a blow by political reality and has since matured into cautious optimism. All in all, the performance looks impressive. The S&P 500 is up 11.6% between Trump’s victory and 100th day in office. That’s the second-best rally for that period since an 18% surge under President Kennedy in 1961.
Trump hasn’t said what he wants in a new trade deal to bring manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. But judging from hints his advisers have dropped, reforms could bring jobs back — at a cost to everyone else. At the center of the negotiations will be something called “rules of origin.” If the U.S. demands more products be sourced from within the US, that could raise prices for consumers and put jobs in other industries like retail at risk.
Boeing has asked U.S. trade officials to slap tariffs on a Canadian rival. The American plane maker says Bombardier, which is getting into the market for larger aircraft that compete directly with the 737, gets unfair government support. The request comes days after the Trump administration decided to impose duties on Canadian lumber, claiming firms are inappropriately propped up by government subsidies.
Trump’s 100th day in office: Saturday marks the milestone for Trump. He won’t be celebrating at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the annual event that Trump has declined to attend.
Economic slowdown? Following the weak GDP report, investors will focus on new reports due out on Monday that could give a better feel for how the economy performed in recent weeks. First up is an 8:30 a.m. ET report on personal spending for the month of March. Look for missing evidence that high consumer confidence is translating to faster spending. At 10 a.m. ET, the Institute for Supply Management’s April manufacturing gauge could show whether Trump’s focus on manufacturing is having any impact.