Trump takes credit for U.S. economic growth beating forecasts

Global Business

The U.S. economy grew at 3.2 per cent in the first three months of the year, according to new government figures.

The expansion beat expectations that were conservative partly due to the financial impact of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Owen Fairclough has more.

It was a decent start to the weekend for Donald Trump: new figures out on Friday showed the U.S. economy grew 3.2 per cent in the first three months of the year.

“The GDP numbers were just announced, and they were far higher than even the high expectation,” the U.S. President told reporters at Joint Base Andrews.

“There were many people thought it would be less than 2 [per cent]. [they] were 3.2 per cent. Not only that, we have a great growth, and also very, very low inflation.”

Economists had narrowed their forecasts partly due to estimates that a 35-day government shutdown – the longest in history – at the start of the year would cost about 11 billion dollars in lost output.

And the trade battle between the U.S. and China had rattled investors, though they seem less concerned now: the S&P and Nasdaq stock exchanges hit record highs this week.

But increased government spending helped, as did companies beefing up their inventories.

Plus, exports surged in the first three months in the year – vindication for a U.S trade strategy partly based on reducing a growing trade imbalance with China.

But if President Trump thinks the US economy is doing well, it isn’t hitting a target he once made of 4 per cent growth a year.
And where the White House thinks growth will be 3.2 per cent this year, the International Monetary Fund thinks it’ll be nearly a whole percentage point less.

Economics journalist John Tamny discusses the state of the US economy

CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to economics journalist John Tamny about the state of the U.S. economy.