Last Wednesday, president Trump commented, “I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me.”

Numerous mainstream media reports were all over Trump’s statement, attributing major moves in the US dollar to Trump’s statement.

Now that the dust has settled, let’s recap some headlines and look at what really happened on Wednesday, April 12.

April 12 Headlines

US Dollar Index 

The US dollar fell from 100.71 to 100.46. That’s a 0.25% move. Allegedly that constitutes “tank” and “sharply lower”.

April 16 US Dollar Index Update

Watching the futures, the index is now at 100.30 as of 8:11 PM central.

If you insist on attributing that follow-through to Trump, the index is down 0.41% since Wednesday, April 12.

Can the President Move the Dollar?

If Trump unexpectedly bombed Germany, Japan, or China there would be a major move of some sort in the dollar.

But other than major unexpected action, the president cannot do much. Jawboning is unlikely to do anything at all, as we have just witnessed.

Actions, Not Words 

Given the Fed has all but promised three rate hikes this year, the dollar is highly likely to head south if those hikes do not take place.

Meanwhile, the yield curve is sure acting as if economic weakness, not a strengthening economy is at hand.

Trump has nothing to do with that picture either.

Economy Sputtering

It’s obvious the economy is sputtering unless you happen to believe soft indicators more than hard data.

So, if the dollar falls, and that is highly likely, don’t credit Trump and don’t listen to mainstream media nonsense.

Related Articles 

  1. GDP Forecasts Dip Again: Forecasts Compared
  2. Consumer Prices Unexpectedly Decline, First Drop Since February 2016: Reality Check
  3. Central Bank Hubris Bubbles to the Surface
  4. Debate over the Yield Curve: Is it Steepening or Flattening?
  5. Hard-Boiled vs Soft-Boiled Economic Egg Debate: Cracking the Shells

My first quarter GDP estimate sits at 0.4% (see link #1 above). We will have an advance estimate from the BEA on April 28.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock