United States economy posts best performance since late 2014

30 July, 2018, 23:01 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Trump Breaks Tradition on GDP Figures

"And this is potentially very bad for the Trump administration because supporters of the Trump Presidency are beginning to turn on him".

Friday's report showed the economy boomed in the second quarter of 2018, although many economists and policymakers believe the pace is unlikely to be sustained in the long run, given the ageing of the population and slow productivity growth of recent years.

"We're on track to hit the highest average annual growth rate in over 13 years", Mr. Trump said at the White House. What will GDP growth look like for the remainder of this year?

That's the fastest rate of the growth since the 4.9 percent in the third quarter of 2014 and the third-best growth rate since the Great Recession.

Now the president and his economic team say we're seeing the fruit of those cuts in taxes and regulations.

"People are happy. People in general feel a little bit wealthier", he said.

"This isn't a one time shot", he said on Friday. Economists in a Reuters poll earlier this week predicted that growth will slow notably from here.

Weak home construction and increased imports, which subtract from economic growth, took it down a notch. "I think the numbers are going to be outstanding". Trump also talked up the May jobs report, which turned out to be strong. And that gave the overall export numbers a big lift. That meant discouraged workers, who have left the job market because they could not find work, will begin to re-enter.

Personal consumption expenditures increased 4 percent while business investment jumped 7.3 percent, and government spending was up by 3.5 percent. I continued to forecast that for the entire year, GDP growth would exceed 4%.

This marks the fastest pace of growth for the US economy in any quarter since the third quarter of 2014. So what helped the economy in the first half of the year may well hurt it in the second half.

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It certainly is possible and perhaps even likely, depending on a number of variables.

The main question mark for the future is the President's trade policy, and this is cause for concern.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 4.4 per cent growth rate.

The gains were driven by strong consumer spending and a surge in exports as firms rushed to beat new trade tariffs.

Also if China buys less soybeans from the USA they will buy more from Brazil, meaning Brazil may not have enough to sell to their existing customers.

A 5% growth rate for the remainder of the year may be hard to achieve.

That modest assessment of the long-run rate implicitly resists arguments that Trump's tax cuts will lift the economy's potential to grow without hitting the speed-bump of inflation, though there's a range of views among policy makers.

Pay was growing even faster in the late 1960s, when the jobless rate remained below 4 per cent for almost four years. While there was nothing concrete, Trump and Juncker laid out areas of cooperation, with a goal of lowering tariffs on goods going both ways between Europe and the United States.

Contrary to Trump's assertions, the economy enjoyed periods of robust growth during the Obama administration.


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