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Tag Archives: economy

Economy Keeps Thumping Along: Third-Quarter Growth at 3.5 Percent

Well the, Obama people must be disappointed. They had predicted that a permanent era of slow growth was at hand.

But alas, the fault of the meager growth of the Obama years wasn’t America’s. It was OBAMA’S.

Trump is closing in on two years into his presidency. Obama can’t even possibly claim at this point that he deserves the credit. In fact, the economy began to improve the day Trump was elected, because businesses understood that a change was finally at hand.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Strong consumer and government spending powered economic growth in the third quarter, although a warning sign about the outlook emerged in the form of weak business investment.

Gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced in the U.S.—grew at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 3.5% from July through September, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was slightly higher than the 3.4% reading economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected and followed strong growth in the second quarter.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of total economic output, rose at a 4.0% annual rate in the third quarter, the strongest rate of growth in nearly four years. A low unemployment rate, steady job and wage growth and the late-2017 tax overhaul encouraged spending by consumers.

Adding to the growth burst, federal government expenditures were up at a 3.3% annual rate in the third quarter, with defense spending rising at an annual rate of 4.6%. State and local government spending also rose at a 3.2% annual rate, a burst that is helping to power overall economic activity.

The Wall Street Journal, which I regard as a rare honest broker among MSM media outlets, nevertheless sees cause for concern in the future.

However, some analysts see a slowdown looming.

“We see five reasons for more modest growth: a fading fiscal stimulus boost; rising inflation; tightening monetary policy; increasing protectionism and slowing global activity,” Gregory Daco, an economist at Oxford Economics, said in a note to clients.

We’ll see. Of course, everyone hopes the economy will continue expanding robustly. Right, lberals?

Is Trump Failing to Sell the Economy, or Will the Media Just Never Buy It?

President Trump’s surest path toward helping Republicans remain in charge of Congress is to tell people that that they’re doing great. The economy is in incredible shape – and that’s a provable fact.

A piece in Politico Thursday suggests Trump is failing to do this. While the piece does acknowledge that the White House blames media bias for not conveying the message, the guilty party is the usual suspect, Trump:

In an alternate universe, President Donald Trump would be heading into the midterms relentlessly touting his stewardship of a strong economy with results that include historically low unemployment, solid economic growth, sky-high enthusiasm among small businesses and shattered records for job openings.

Instead, the president is repeatedly muddling that message with easily debunked falsehoods or hyperbole about the state of the economy while pressing on with unpopular trade wars that frustrate establishment Republicans and business groups worried about price increases. His undisciplined approach — coupled with his obsessing about the Russia investigation, Hillary Clinton and the 2016 election — is damaging what many Republicans say should have been a political slam dunk for the GOP heading into the fall . . .

Top lawmakers have repeatedly implored Trump as recently as last week to stay focused on the economy, but haven’t found much success with a president who prefers his own method of communicating. And senior administration aides, at this point, find it futile to try to corral Trump, even just urging him to stick to an optimistic economic message that focuses on facts and avoids wild exaggerations. One aide argued they don’t think the press will cover the economy fairly anyway. “We have a ton of good facts and a good story to tell but he’s not a perfect messenger,” this person said. “And we have a media problem as well.”

Well, yes, there’s a media problem. The media are democrats. And they particularly loathe Trump. They’d rather write a story about the magnificence of Sarah Palin before they’d say anything nice about Trump.

What’s more, the media never love good stories, because they don’t sell newpapers as well as bad news and don’t excite their instinct to question and be skeptical.

But it seems to me that Trump and his aides make every effort to talk and tweet about the good economic news. This isn’t a tale about a sloppy, disorganized White House which reporters, who are all currently reading the Bob Woodward book that supposedly provides a window into the chaos, love to tell. It’s about relentlessly negative coverage of Trump, constant scandal watch, and articles about the economy that are either not highlighted on the webpage or caveated by dire warnings about trade wars or silly claims by Barack Obama that he built this.

To be sure, the White House can do more to go over the heads of the Washington press corps. Obama, who knew even a friendly MSM retained their natural cynicism and asked tougher questions, did scores of interviews with star-struck local TV stations. The White House needs innovative strategies such as that. Moaning to Politico about biased coverage gets you nowhere.

Census Bureau: Family Income Hits Record High, Poverty Lowest Since 2016

OMG, this had got to stop. Impeach him, now.

From the Washington Examiner:

Typical family incomes rose to new record highs in 2017, and poverty subsided to pre-recession lows, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

Median household income rose to $61,400, according to the bureau’s Current Population Survey, improving 1.8 percent on the previous year’s mark of $60,300. Incomes in 2016 had appeared to eclipse, finally, the all-time high set in the dotcom bubble year of 1999, but the comparison was complicated by changes in the data series in the meantime. The agency adjusts incomes for inflation.

Meanwhile, the share of people below the poverty level fell to 12.3 percent.

Bring back Obama, so we can be lectured constantly from above about “that’s not who we are,” by which he must have meant, people who can earn a living.

If Trump Sells 4.1 Percent Growth, Republicans Can Keep Congress

From an article I have running today on the NBC News website:

President Donald Trump made an unscheduled appearance on the White House South Lawn Friday morning, exactly one hour and 13 minutes after the Commerce Department announced the U.S. economy grew at the impressive rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter.

“These are great numbers,” he said. “We’ve accomplished an economic turnaround of historic proportions.”

Sure, some of this was Trumpian hyperbole. But it’s a show he can take on the road to help preserve Republicans majorities in the House and the Senate this November. Because there’s enough substance in the numbers and in the nearly 3 percent growth rate for the five complete quarters he’s been president that a salesman as good as Trump can sell the success . . .

His 2016 election win was about a lot of things that aren’t always prominent, like immigration and cultural change. But according to the massive national exit poll, the economy was still the foremost issue in voters’ minds. Fully 52 percent named the economy as the “most important issue facing the country,” compared to only 18 percent who said terrorism, 13 percent who went with immigration and another 13 percent who chose foreign policy.

The thing you still need to sell in an election is the economy — and right now for Republicans, that’s looking like a pretty high-quality product.

You can read the rest of the piece here.

Trump Economy: GDP Grows 4.1 Percent

The U.S. economy grew at the strongest pace in nearly four years, reflecting an economic rebound that has been steered by Trump administration policies.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced across the economy—rose at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 4.1% from April through June, the Commerce Department said Friday. That was a pickup from the first quarter’s revised growth rate of 2.2%.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected a 4.4% growth rate. The second-quarter growth reading was the strongest since the 4.9% annual rate reported for the third quarter of 2014.

A good part of the growth was due to a simple, fundamental truth, that people and businesses have more money and are spending.

From the Journal:

A low unemployment rate, steady job and wage growth and the late-2017 tax overhaul may have encouraged spending by consumers and businesses in the second quarter. Consumer spending, business investment and government spending all rose.

Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of total economic output. Friday’s report said personal-consumption expenditures rose at a 4.0% annual rate in the second quarter, the strongest rate of growth since the fourth quarter of 2014.

There’s been a major tax cut. Business has gotten the signal that the government is back on its side as regulations are reduced. Tangible benefits are already being felt by companies.

Even CNN had to acknowledge something was going right, running an article titled, “The economy is doing well and Trump deserves some credit.” The author wrote:

President Donald Trump thinks he’s overdue some credit for steering the strongest economy on the planet — and he’s probably right.

Economic growth in Trump’s first year, 2017, was 2.3 percent, well above the average of about 1.5 percent during the Obama years. For 2018 so far, the average growth is about 3 percent.

But of course, Obama was a genius, so we shouldn’t let a little thing like the economy performing worse under him than any postwar president to matter.

Remember, ignore the economic growth and keep repeating to yourself. Trump, Russia. Trump, Russia. Trump, rude. Trump, rude. There you go! Now that you’ve been hypnotized by the mainstream media, you’re in a much better place.

But maybe you have decent paying job too.

Fourth Quarter Growth Adjusted Upward to 2.9 Percent

That’s three straight quarters of approximately 3 percent growth. Those are the first full quarters that Donald Trump had been president. It’s now inarguable the Trump has been good for the economy.

However, growth for the current quarter is expected to be more like Obama-era growth. But we’ll see. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of economists are rooting for Trump to fail and so they bias their forecasts, even if unintentionally.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The U.S. economy entered 2018 with stronger momentum than earlier thought, though corporate profits weakened at the end of 2017 against a backdrop of significant changes to the tax code.

Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the U.S., rose at a 2.9% annual rate in the fourth quarter, adjusted for seasonality and inflation, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.

That exceeded economists’ expectations and was up from a previous estimate of 2.5%growth, and only a little slower than the third quarter’s 3.2% growth and 3.1% growth in the second quarter. Consumer spending was revised higher for the fourth quarter, and private inventories exerted a smaller drag on growth than earlier thought.

Overall growth in the almost-finished first quarter is shaping up on the softer side; forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers on Wednesday projected a 1.8% growth rate for GDP in the first three months of the year.

Americans’ View of the Economy is the Most Positive in Nearly Two Decades

Please permit me to interrupt your Stormy Daniels programming for a moment.

Americans’ satisfaction with the economy is soaring under President Trump, with the number who view conditions positively at the highest point in nearly two decades, according to a new survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

Fifty-three percent of Americans now say the economy is in either good or excellent shape, the highest tally since January 2001, just before Bill Clinton left office. That means that Americans already have a more-positive view of the economy under Trump than at any time under his two predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

The number of Americans with a looking favorably on the economy has soared more than 20 points since the question was asked by Pew in late November and early December of 2016, just after Trump was elected, when only 31 percent said things were going well. The tax cut package signed in December 2017 by Trump appears to have had some effect, given that number offering a positive opinion of the economy has jumped 12 points from 41 percent the last time the poll was taken in October 2017.

Americans would appear to have the data on their side. In 2017, the economy grew at more than three percent for two straight quarters – the second and third – for the first time since 2014. Fourth quarter growth was a solid 2.5 percent.

The positive view of the economy is driven by Republicans, 74 percent of whom now rate conditions as good or excellent. But more than a third of Democrats, 37 percent, also have a positive view of the way things are going.

Still, only 30 percent of Americans say they are satisfied with conditions in the country generally, exactly the same proportion as just after Trump’s election. Fifty percent say their personal finances are either good or excellent, just four points higher than in the late November-early December 2016 poll.

According to the same Pew poll, the cost of healthcare has the highest effect of any factor on people’s financial situations, with 53 percent saying it impacts them “a lot,” even eight years after Barack Obama signed the “Affordable Care Act.” Food and consumer good prices placed second at 48 percent. Though Trump frequently touts the extraordinary gains in stock prices since he became president, just 21 percent say the stock market affects their financial situation a lot.

The vast majority of American expect the economy to stay the same or get better. Only a quarter expect conditions to worsen over the next year.

The poll was conducted March 7-14 among 1,466 adults and released March 22. For data about perceptions of the economy before February 2004, Pew uses Gallup polling data.

CNN Admits Trump Tax Cut Helped the Economy

Well this is a nice turn of events. First of all, the economy. Employers added 200,000 jobs last month, a strong number. But even better news was the rise in incomes, which has mostly stagnated under President Obama. And even more surprising news: CNN thinks Trump is partially responsible for it. According to CNN’s Alison… Continue Reading

Here’s Today’s Good Economic News You’re Not Hearing About

Because, you know, nothing President Trump does is good. Because Russia, okay? Did anybody not get it? Russia. Collusion. Manafort. Man the Fort. Carter somebody. Yes, Page. Carter Page. Papanopouladapopadous. That guy. Mooler. Is it Mooler or Myuler? I don’t know. I think Myuler. There’s more than today’s obvious news that the unemployment rate dropped… Continue Reading

Economy Adds 209,000 Jobs in July

From the Wall Street Journal: There’s lots to like in July’s jobs report. Employers added 209,000 jobs last month, more than forecast. Wage growth rose 2.5% in July from a year earlier, not amazing but steady and right in line with expectations. Hours worked per week by private employees held steady at 34.5. The jobless… Continue Reading