[Ed. – Good to see someone documenting that perception. It mirrors mine.]
To the extent that public policy affects such decisions, the perception of likely policy change can affect behavior even before the change happens — even if it ends up never happening.
Something like that seems to be happening in America — and around the world. In the two months since Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, people have been making decisions based on perceptions of how he may change the country’s direction.
Take the economy. The numbers in the jobs report for February, Trump’s first full month in office, showing an increase of 235,000 jobs, are not wildly out of line with some monthly reports in recent years.
In contrast with the years of the Obama stimulus program, when the bulk of new jobs came in the public sector, it appears that the increase here is in the private sector. Moody’s Analytics says there were 298,000 new private-sector jobs in February, far more than the 189,000 it expected. …
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen suggested the Fed will raise interest rates twice more this year after doing so twice in the past three months. That’s a significant shift from her long-standing reluctance to increase rates at all for fear of dampening the economy. …
U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that apprehensions of people who crossed the southern border illegally in February were down 39 percent from January and down 36 percent from February 2016. They were also lower than the border crossings in December — traditionally by far the lowest month — in the years 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012.