Trump tariff flip-flop and central bank logic raise questions

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Unlike senior Italian politicians, Mr Trump wasn't holidaying on the beach. His flip flops are designed to win votes, not protect his feet.

China and trade policy are the subjects vexing him. One day he pushes up tariffs and says the Chinese bear the pain. Next day he changes his mind and seems to imply the US consumer is the one who is hurt. Good point, those lessons in elementary economics are paying off.

In the short term, tariffs are inflationary and of course potentially reduce consumer choice. No surprise then that core US inflation is running at 2.2% - we have just had back to back monthly increases in core CPI of 0.3%, the first time that has happened in twenty years.

I'll repeat - core US inflation is running at 2.2%. A reminder - yesterday German inflation was confirmed at 1.7%.

Prices are rising, we are at full employment (do I need to comment on UK earnings data? If so, one word - strong) and monetary policy is slack.

I really hope central banks know what they are doing. I struggle to understand the logic.


David Roberts is head of global fixed income at Liontrust