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Trump touts economy: 'These numbers are very, very sustainable'

Trump touts economy: 'These numbers are very, very sustainable'

Some of this success may be Trump's doing, while much of it appears to be part of an overall economic trend which began just under 10 years ago under President Obama.

With the size of the American economy now surpassing US$20 trillion, GDP expanded by 4.1 per cent in the April-June quarter, making the United States the fastest-growing of advanced countries, according to a government report. "If we lower our taxes, remove destructive regulations, unleash the vast treasure of American energy and negotiate trade deals that put America first, then there is no limit to the number of jobs we can create and the amount of prosperity we can unleash". Few economists outside the administration agree with this claim. "If one controls for the impact of the one-time increase in government spending, temporary tax boost and exports, that robust topline growth rate is closer to 3 percent". That means some exports simply happened in the second quarter instead of the third, which means third-quarter exports will probably be lower.

More importantly, benchmark revisions to the history of the GDP data show that household income was far stronger than previously thought. "While Democrats are declaring their desire to take our country back to a time when Main Street businesses were pessimistic about the future, families paid higher taxes, and our global competitors all leaped ahead of us, Republicans are determined to build on this growth to continue strengthening our economy for workers and families".

For an economy that has suffered from anemic productivity growth for nearly a decade, a significant pop in business investment is not only a welcome sight in terms of boosting growth in the short term but is also just what the doctor ordered to hopefully boost productivity gains and in turn the trend pace of economic growth for years to come. Spending on structures advanced 13.3 percent following a 13.9 percent gain in the prior period, while equipment investment cooled to 3.9 percent and intellectual property spending slowed to 8.2 percent.

It wasn't all sunshine and roses: Residential investment fell for the fourth time in five quarters, meaning that people are putting less money into home construction.

Housing remained a weak spot in the economy amid signs that the sector is poised for its broadest slowdown in years. Trump has said he sees annual growth of 3 per cent or more as sustainable.

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Trump's implementation of the tax overhaul and deregulation also boosted the number, he said. Both rates and stocks have cooled recently, but stocks have leveled off at a range that anticipates an economy that will grow significantly faster than it has.

GDP is the value of goods...

And that 4.1 percent growth is an "annualized" figure.

All this said, the Commerce Department's report offers some unambiguously good news.

A measure of domestic demand surged at a 4.3pc rate in the second quarter.

It's also more than double the 2 percent annualized growth reported in 2018's first quarter.

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