Multiple media outlets were not willing to allow Friday’s impressive 4.1 percent second quarter Gross Domestic Product number to get in the way of their negative narrative about the 45th president.
“U.S. growth probably hit 4.2 percent this spring, but experts say it’s a blip,” The Post headlined.
“Economists say the spike is coming mainly from a fluke: There was an unusually large increase in exports in the spring that probably came because other countries were trying to buy U.S. goods before Trump’s trade war escalated and tariffs kicked in,” according to the paper.
Similarly, The Times reported the 4.1 percent growth rate is not sustainable.
“Several one-time factors — including a surge in exports tied, at least in part, to Mr. Trump’s trade policies — probably combined to pump up growth in the second quarter,” according to the paper. “Those effects won’t last, and economists expect growth to slow in the second half of the year. Pretty much no one outside the White House thinks a growth rate of 4 percent is sustainable in the long term.”
CBS News also sought to rain on Trump’s parade, writing, “GDP growth touted as ‘historic’ by Trump is anything but.”
The article contended that Trump inherited a strong economy from Barack Obama and noted there were four quarters during his tenure in office when the GDP crossed four percent.
Even The Associated Press doubts the Trump economy will sustain its strong growth rate.
At a news conference on Friday, Trump pointed out, “We’re on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years. And I will say this right now, and I’ll say it strongly: As the trade deals come in one by one, we’re going to go a lot higher than these numbers. And these are great numbers.”
The president further pointed out, “During each of the two previous administrations, we averaged just over 1.8 percent GDP growth. By contrast, we are now on track to hit an average GDP annual growth of over 3 percent, and it could be substantially over 3 percent.”
He also countered the arguments made by The Post, The Times, CBS News and others that the second quarter GDP is a blip.
“(T)hese numbers are very, very sustainable,” Trump said. “This isn’t a one-time shot. I happen to think we’re going to do extraordinarily well in our next report, next quarter. I think it’s going to be outstanding.”
The president’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, doesn’t see any end in sight to the strong economic growth.
Kudlow, who served as an economist in the Reagan administration, dismissed the naysayers, on Friday who say the 4.1 percent GDP growth is unsustainable, noting the lower tax rates for businesses and individuals passed at the end of last year, as well as other pro-growth policies implemented under Trump.
“I don’t think this is the end of the numbers,” he told Fox News. “I was watching some TV this morning saying, ‘Wow, they got one, but it’s not sustainable’… Bulletin, it is sustainable.”
Kudlow explained, “We’ve lowered tax rates, we’ve rolled back regulations, we’ve unleashed energy, we’re moving to fix the broken world trading system. You can see big numbers on capital spending, business investment.”
“My hunch is it’s going to go on for quite a while. It’s not just one quarter,” he said.
Time will tell, but the Reagan economy in the 1980s enjoyed multiple years of between 4 and nearly 8 percent GDP growth. There is no reason to believe Trump’s — with its policies that closely mirror the 40th president’s — cannot do the same.
As the Gipper would say, “Why shouldn’t we believe (and achieve) that? We are Americans.”
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