The Trump economy has seen record numbers in consumer and small business confidence. Figures in both areas reached their highest marks in nearly two decades. It has created over three million jobs. At least three million working class Americans received bonus checks thanks to the tax cuts passed by the Republican Congress at the tail end of 2017. And yes, they’re a pro-middle class tax cut. Even Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had to admit this when pressed by CNN’s Jake Tapper last December. It’s allowed for a better job creating and investment climate. Second quarter growth broke four percent. Unemployment dipped to 3.8 percent. There are more job openings than job seekers. The Dow Jones has been very shaky as of late, though it had its largest annual point gain ever in its history under Trump: 5,000 points. And now the third quarter growth numbers show that the economy grew by 3.5 percent, on pace for the fastest level of expansion in 13 years (via AP):
The U.S. economy expanded at a solid 3.5 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, led by lower but still strong consumer spending and more business investment than previously estimated.
The Commerce Department’s figure for gross domestic product, released Wednesday, was the same as its first estimate last month. GDP is the broadest measure of the nation’s output of goods and services and covers everything from homebuilding to haircuts. Greater corporate investment offset downward revisions in spending by state and local governments and consumers.
The third quarter figure follows a robust expansion of 4.2 percent in the April-June quarter. Six months of healthy growth have put the U.S. economy on track to expand in 2018 at its fastest pace in 13 years. Still, economists forecast that growth will slow in the fourth quarter and decelerate further next year.
Borrowing costs are headed higher as the Federal Reserve raises short-term interest rates. That has lifted mortgage rates and weighed on home and auto sales. The Trump administration’s trade fights have also raised uncertainty for many companies and may cause them to delay investments. And the boost to consumer spending from last year’s tax cuts is likely to fade by next year.
Economists at JPMorgan Chase forecast that growth will slow to 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter and 2.2 percent in the first three months of 2019.
Even so, growth is on pace to top 3 percent this year for the first time since 2005.
Well, now that Democrats have retaken the House, you know economic growth is definitely going to be hitting the skids.