The Economic Risks of Trump's Premature Tweeting

04 June, 2018, 03:50 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Trump appears to comment on jobs report before its official release

President Donald Trump on Friday broke with decades of protocol and commented publicly about the highly anticipated jobs report data 69 minutes before they were released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning", the president tweeted he tweeted ahead of the official report.

In March of a year ago, then-White House press secretary Sean Spicer ran afoul of the directive when he took to Twitter 22 minutes after the Bureau of Labor Statistics had released the jobs report for the previous month to tout that the 235,000 net jobs gain and the slight decline in the unemployment rate were "great news for American workers".

According to a Labor Department rule, executive branch employees are barred from publicly commenting on the jobs report until "at least one hour" after its official release.

The jobs data come out once a month and can lead to massive buying or selling trends on Wall Street, depending on how the information is received.

In the span of time between when Trump posted his tweet and when the jobs report was released, USA treasury yields shot up.

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Within seconds of Trump's post, the USA dollar strengthened and Treasury yields rose, as investors anticipated the strong report they thought Trump had foreshadowed.

"But, you know, just saying let's look at the jobs numbers, all of America is looking at the job numbers".

But administration officials never appeared to comment before the report came out as Trump did on Friday. Friday's tweet, however, was the first time he's ever spoken about the job's report before it was released.

"This certainly was a no-no", tweeted Ari Fleisher, who was press secretary for President George W. Bush. This movement can be attributed to President Barack Obama's administration.

A CNN political commentator reminded his followers that this is not the first time that President Donald Trump violated the directive.

Mickey Levy, chief economist at Berenberg Capital Markets in NY, said in a phone interview that "the best thing to do is to wait and see the number and size things up". Sanders also said that Trump had been "briefed" on the report Thursday night, despite his tweet suggesting curiosity rather than knowledge of the report. "The advance info is sacrosanct - not to be shared".

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Martha Gimbel, director of economic research at Indeed, the job-listing site, said some of the fastest-growing search terms on the site this year are "full-time" and "9-to-5 jobs", evidence that many people want more work hours.

The news comes even as Trump has announced new tariffs as high as 25 percent on imported steel and aluminum from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, triggering retaliation from US allies and protests from American industry.

Meanwhile, Kudlow said trade frictions between the United States and Canada are a "family quarrel", brushing aside concerns expressed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as an overreaction. Again, the reasoning by this part of the rule is obvious, to prevent comments from the government from having an impact on the market or giving traders advance knowledge of information the public isn't supposed to have until its official release time. "But secondly, and fundamentally, its really important that government statistics are perceived as being nonpartisan, nonpolitical data". "It can not be overstated what this president has done for the community, the hope that he is inspiring, the economic growth that he has inspired within this country".

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"I don't think he gave anything away, incidentally", Kudlow added.

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