President-elect Donald Trump has proposed a number of new policy measures in an attempt to reinvigorate US economic growth.
Although many Wall Street economists have noted the possibility of increased infrastructure spending adding to US economic growth as a positive, it may come out as a negative for the US economy.
David Kelly, chief global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, compared the proposed plan to over doing it in the kitchen.
“Based on the number on how the economy is, what we’ve got here is a well-done steak,” said Kelly as a meeting attended by Business Insider. “We’ve been cooking it for a long time, at a low temperature, but it’s done. If you put a lot of fiscal stimulus — particularly big personal income tax cuts — if you put that on an economy that’s already at full employment that’s like putting a well-done steak on broil.”
Kelly said that with a tight labour market, improving inflation, and slow but improving economic growth, the Trump plan has the danger of kicking the economy to a level that is not sustainable. This would include soaring inflation and the possibility of massive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve to offset the price increases.
“Overheating is the biggest possible red flag for us,” said Kelly. “If the stimulus manages to overheat the economy, you’ll see the Fed that’s already a bit behind the curve have to hike and catch up. Then you’ll end with a typical boom-bust cycle with the Fed dampening economic growth.”
If the Fed increases interest rates rapidly, this chokes off the flow of credit available and makes businesses less likely to spend. While it does reign in inflation, it also decreases economic output. This typically leads to a recession.
Additionally, the net positive impact to economic growth in the short-run from a Trump plan would be negligible. In short, introducing large stimulus plans during cycle peaks — roughly where we are now — doesn’t increase private spending as much as during downturns. So the 4% GDP growth promised by Trump is “not going to happen” even with the plan, according to Kelly.
In essence, Trump’s plan may be overkill, while also not providing as much upside as promised.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.