America’s economy defied the impact of two massive hurricanes to record a 3 percent growth in the third quarter of 2017. As a candidate, President Donald Trump repeatedly said he wanted to achieve growth of 3 percent or higher.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the GDP report “proves that President Trump’s bold agenda is steadily overcoming the dismal economy inherited from the previous administration. … And as the president’s tax cut plan is implemented our entire economy will continue to come roaring back,” according to The Associated Press.
“With unemployment at a 16-year low, the stock market at new highs and economic confidence soaring, the U.S. economy is surging under this President’s leadership,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
“America can continue this momentum if Congress adopts our framework for major tax cuts and other key agenda items that will allow Americans to keep more of their money, make our businesses more competitive, and build an economy that works better for everyone,” she said.
The 3 percent annual gross domestic product growth for the third quarter came on the heels of a 3.1 percent growth rate in the previous quarter.
That gave the economy its strongest two-quarter showing since 2014.
Experts have estimated that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma depressed the economy’s growth rate by about half of a percentage point.
Analysts had forecast that the GDP figure would be about 2.5 percent. The Commerce Department said higher personal spending and investment were parts of the higher-than-expected growth rate.
Trump highlighted the report Saturday via Twitter.
Very little reporting about the GREAT GDP numbers announced yesterday (3.0 despite the big hurricane hits). Best consecutive Q's in years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2017
In its reporting on the GDP figures, The Wall Street Journal said the economy “might be breaking out of its long-running slow-growth trend, with the help of soaring stock prices and rising business and consumer confidence.”
In an op-ed for The Hill, CNN senior economic analyst and former Trump campaign economic adviser Stephen Moore argued that Trump has created an optimism that is buoying the economy.
“The optimism that businesses and investors are feeling is also reflected in the stock market surge since election day. Wealth of American shareholders is up by $4 trillion since Election Day,” he wrote.
“So the America-doubters and the never-Trumpers appear to be dead wrong,” he added.
Moore said growth can be even higher.
“Slow 2 percent growth isn’t the upper bound pace of economic progress for the United States,” he said. “The long-term growth path for America is closer to 3.3 percent, and in this technological age, there’s no reason we can’t grow even faster than that.”
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