Trump turns 100 … has he made a difference?

29 April marked Trump’s 100th day in office, a milestone of which the media have made much, but do we really care? The idea is that this period provides a good indication of what the president will achieve while he’s in office and how he will go about it.

In the case of Trump, however, convention has not been a word much applied and after his first 100 days, I’m not sure we can say we’re any closer to understanding his plans and policies.

We asked Ed Smith, asset allocation strategist at Elite Equities provider Rathbone, for his views.

“We are not banking on Trump’s tax reforms or infrastructure spending at all in 2017. It took Ronald Reagan—who governed with a Republican party, both united ideologically and willing and able to strike deals with the Democrats—two years to get a tax reform bill passed.

“The tax cuts announced this week could add £3.5trn to the national debt over 10 years, which means the economy would need to grow an additional 2% a year in order to make them deficit-neutral! Even if Trump does implement his tax/infrastructure splurge, there is really no guarantee that it will have that much of an impact on growth.

“Given that the economy is near full employment, the impact on growth is likely to be towards the lower end of the range – perhaps as low as just 0.25% extra per year, even assuming he gets everything passed.

“That said, the US and global economies are in expansion mode – we just don’t believe it has anything to do with Trump! Economic activity is running warm and getting warmer, and that’s what has been underpinning markets. The global macro backdrop is also very supportive for equities and risk assets generally. We expect a very strong first half in 2017 when the economic growth figures come in.”

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