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PCB-Feb2017

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74 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 Why Trump Will Be Good for Our Industry THE RIGHT APPROACH by Steve Williams THE RIGHT APPROACH CONSULTING Introduction Regardless of which side of the political fence you fall on, what matters most around any election are the policy implications. Tak- ing the partisanship out of politics and looking strictly at the Trump policy promises, there is cause for optimism in business. What Will it Look Like? As I craft this edition of the column, we are still three weeks from Trump's inauguration, however, by the time you read this we will all have a few weeks under our belts of what a Trump presidency is going to look like. Person - ally, I would not be surprised if we see changes on Day 1, and I have great expectations for the first 100 days. Of course, any changes to the fundamental macro outlook will take time to materialize as we navigate through the near- term uncertainty of political transition, but early moves by the Trump transition team of - fer some strategic direction of things to come. On paper, if I were to list the issues and policy objectives each candidate ran under for U.S. President, Trump's campaign scorecard appears to be more in line with a pro-business and pro- growth outlook. A Look Back Before we look forward, it is instructive to look at the "business state-of-the-union" since the start of the millennium. The past 16 years have not been kind to business, and the last eight have been absolutely crushing. A little more than a year ago, 2015 closed with the first 10-year period in U.S. history where the annual growth rate of real GDP did not reach 3% (Bu- reau of Economic Analysis). The prior longest stretch was the four-year stretch from 1930 to 1933 during the Great Depression (Figure 1). The data coming from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the Labor Force Participation Rate is the lowest in more than 40 years, which means that companies are just not hiring (Fig- ure 2). To add salt to the wound, while the un- employment rate for October 2016 was report- Figure 1: GDP annual growth rate. (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis) Figure 2: Labor participation rate. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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