After delaying his State of the Union address because of the longest government shutdown in history, yesterday Trump finally delivered it. In an 80-minute speech he confirmed he will meet with Kim Jong-un in Vietnam within weeks, decried ‘ridiculous partisan investigations’ and called for bipartisan unity. He said there will be no more endless wars and that American will never be a socialist country.
On yesterday’s economic data schedule, January’s services PMI reading came in as expected at 54.2 from 54.4 the previous month, which is the lowest reading for four months. Still, the reading is well above the 50.0 that denotes growth and is much better than the same data from the UK and eurozone. Composite PMI was slightly below expectations at 54.4 but remains unchanged from December’s reading. Interestingly, this is below the 2018 average so is certainly something to keep your eyes on in the coming year. Non-manufacturing PMI fell to 56.7 in January from 58 in December and below the 57.2 the markets had expected.
We also learned that Donald Trump’s inaugural committee has been ordered to hand over documents relating to the $107 million celebration that marked the start of his presidency in 2017. It is the latest in a long line of legal threats surrounding the former reality television star. More are expected now that Democrats have taken control of the House.
Today’s highlight is the balance of trade figures for November, where the deficit is expected to have narrowed very slightly. We will also see non-farm productivity figures for the fourth quarter of 2018.
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