Trump again seemed to preview release of good economic news
31 July, 2018, 17:53 | Author: Jason Torres
Many economists are doubtful that the economy can sustain a 4% growth rate, partly because of a yearslong slowdown in productivity.
"By increasing growth to 3 percent over the next 10 years, that would mean 12 million new American jobs and $10 trillion of new American wealth at least", he continued, adding that the numbers are sustainable.
President Donald Trumptold reporters at the White House that he was thrilled with what he called an "amazing" growth rate and said it wasn't "a one-time shot".
THE FACTS: Economists do expect a strong number for growth in the April-June quarter, but it is likely to be a temporary bounce. Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan Chase, forecast that soybean exports alone likely boosted GDP by 0.5 percentage point in the second quarter.
The economy faces two significant structural drags that could keep growth closer to 2 percent than 3 percent: an aging population, which means fewer people are working and more are retired, and weak productivity growth, which means that those who are working aren't increasing their output as quickly as in the past.
"We believe quarter two will represent a growth peak as the boost from tax cuts fades, global growth moderates, inflation rises, the Fed tightens monetary policy and trade protectionism looms over the economy", said Gregory Daco, chief USA economist at Oxford Economics.
The department said the world's largest economy expanded at a 4.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter.
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"Real consumer spending rebounded, as expected, at a 4.0 percent pace, with gains in durable and nondurable goods as well as services".
The trade dispute with China, for example, prompted buyers to rush purchases of USA soybeans before Chinese retaliatory tariffs raised costs for that key market for America's largest agricultural export, according to Bankrate.com analyst Mark Hamrick. Exports were up by 50 percent in the second quarter.
But Trump did not urge caution on that front, instead pointing to a decrease in the U.S. trade deficit driven by those exports, calling it "one of the biggest wins" in the economic report.
After stripping out the volatile categories of trade, inventories and government spending, sales to private domestic purchasers rose at an annual rate of 4.3 per cent. The result was boosted by a budget deal at the beginning of this year that added billions to defense and domestic spending. "And the year-over-year growth rate is just above the long term trend of 1.8 percent".
According to the mainstream media, a majority of economists are predicting that the 4.1% growth rate was just a blip so that in the third and fourth quarters of 2018, the growth rate will fall below 3%. "Growth could go back to about a 2% to 2.5% level".
He said the GDP numbers also underscored the urgent need for the job-training programs that the administration is pushing.
Meanwhile core PCE prices, a measure of inflation, grew 2% quarter-on-quarter, less than expected and a slight deceleration from the 2.2% pace of price growth seen to start the year.
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