Income Strategy First Quarter Review
In our last quarterly commentary, we talked about the renewed market optimism of growth and inflation as Trump’s proposed fiscal stimulus, deregulation and protectionist policies certainly have pro-growth and inflationary tendencies. In addition, a clean sweep by Republicans to gain control of the House and Senate raised market expectations of a smooth passage for Trump’s reforms. The “Trump trade” continued well into Q1/17 and faced its first real challenge in mid-March following the failure of the very first legislative reform tabled by Trump’s administration. The Republican-controlled House abandoned a healthcare bill to repeal and replace Obamacare – arguably an area where all the Republicans have had a unified front. While we certainly do not want to rule out Trump’s ability to deliver, this event was significant in the sense that it calls into question the prospects of his administration’s other big reform initiatives such as tax reforms, deregulation and infrastructure spending.