Trump deserves some credit for this booming economy

Tinnaporn Sathapornnanont

Trump was responding to new growth numbers announced on Friday that show the US economy surged in the April-June quarter to an annual growth rate of 4.1 per cent - the fastest pace since 2014.

"We've accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions", Trump said in remarks at the White House Friday morning.

President Trump speaks in White House after the second quarter GDP number is released.

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Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics, said Friday, "Overall, helped by the massive fiscal stimulus, the economy enjoyed a strong first half of this year but, as the stimulus fades and monetary policy becomes progressively tighter, we expect GDP growth to slow markedly from mid-2019 onwards".

With the new numbers on the GDP growth rate today, CNN's Brooke Baldwin said, "Obviously the President fulfilling a major economic promise".

Of course there will be criticism (including from me) on how Trump got this growth. Consumers began spending their higher take-home pay on autos and other big-ticket items, spurred by the $1.5 trillion tax cut Trump pushed through Congress in December. But housing, which has struggled this year, shrank at a 1.1 percent annual rate after an even sharper 3.4 percent annual decline in the first quarter. Excluding food and energy, the central bank's preferred price index rose at a 2 percent annualized rate last quarter, following 2.2 percent in the first three months of the year.

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President Donald Trump said he was thrilled with what he called an "amazing" growth rate and said it wasn't "a one-time shot". "And nobody mentions the fact that these plants are creating tremendous numbers of jobs", the president said, suggesting that he was committed to maintaining tariffs on steel and aluminum, despite an apparent breakthrough in trade talks with Europe.

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

"These numbers are very, very sustainable", Mr. Trump said.

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Still, Silvia says, "you can have a very strong second quarter", but growth will slow to about 2 percent to 2.5 percent as the export picture turn negative. The president's team expects the economy to keep growth at a solid pace after 2018 as well. China, a major buyer of US soybeans, put hefty tariffs on the American crop this month in retaliation for Trump's levies on numerous Chinese products. "The bottom line is that the economy is doing better", Diane Swonk, chief economist for the accounting firm Grant Thornton, tells The New York Times. Apple Inc., for instance, lifted its capital spending to $4.2 billion from $3 billion a year earlier but also spent a record $23.5 billion buying back its stock and another $3.2 billion on dividends. Deficit spending aside, Mr. Trump's economic policies go against just about everything the Trudeau government stands for.

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