U.S. equity markets experienced an unusually strong showing in the first quarter of 2017, with a 6.1% increase, as measured by the S&P 500 index. Bond markets were also up, 0.8% according to the Barclays Aggregate Bond Index, as prices rose and yields fell even as the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates. The desire for a safe haven investment overcame the Fed rate rise.
Business optimism surged after the Trump election; now many are wondering if the optimism got ahead of reality and was misplaced. Hard data is replacing euphoria. The failure of health care reform and other strategic missteps have given rise to doubts about the ability of President Trump to deliver on his promises. Economists and legislators remain skeptical
Business lending is muted and capital spending has slowed. Estimates for GDP growth are being lowered, Retail sales have been weak and Inflation fell in March.