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Trump has set economic growth on fire

President Donald Trump is more than 19 months into an administration engulfed in so much controversy that it may overshadow a tremendous achievement, namely an economic boom uniquely his.

During his time in office, the economy has achieved feats most experts thought impossible. GDP is growing at a 3 percent-plus rate. The unemployment rate is near a 50-year low. Meanwhile, the stock market has jumped 27 percent amid a surge in corporate profits.

Friday brought another round of good news: Nonfarm payrolls rose by a better-than-expected 201,000 and wages, the last missing piece of the economic recovery, increased by 2.9 percent year over year to the highest level since April 2009. That made it the best gain since the recession ended in June 2009.

His critics, a group that includes a legion of Wall Street economists, most Democrats and even some in his own Republican Party, don’t believe it will last. They figure the current boom will begin petering out as soon as mid-2019 and possibly end in recession in 2020.

But even they acknowledge that the current numbers are a uniquely Trumpian achievement and not owed to policies already set in motion when he took office.“I still believe the big story this year is an economic boom that most folks thought impossible,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council and a chief advisor to Trump, said in a recent interview with CNBC.com. “I understand that he’s been in for a year and a half, but when you look at those numbers, this is not going away.”

Indeed, the economy does seem to be on fire, and it’s fairly easy to draw a straight line from Trump’s policies to the current trends.

Trump’s economic achievements
Business confidence is soaring, in part thanks to a softer regulatory environment. Consumer sentiment by one measure is at its highest level in 18 years. Corporate profits, owed in good part to last year’s tax cuts, are coming close to setting records.
Each of those accomplishments can be tied either directly to new policies or at least indirectly through a brimming sense of hope from businesses that the White House is back on their side.“When you look at those confidence indexes, they’re telling you something,” Kudlow said. “His attitude is, we’re not punishing business, we’re not punishing success, we want to make things easier to do business and to hire, and I think it’s had a very positive effect and a very palpable effect.”GDP most recently gained 4.2 percent in the second quarter, the best performance in nearly four years.

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