Tag Archives: GDP

Some perspective, please, on GDP numbers

Donald J. Trump is damn proud of the Gross Domestic Product report given this week, showing the economy grew at an annual rate of 4.1 percent.

Good news, yes? Sure it is! It’s even great news! But hold on, Mr. President. It ain’t “historic,” as you contend.

And, in fact, the rate of growth might not last, thanks to the trade war the president has launched with, oh, Canada, Mexico, China, the European Union … and maybe even the outer planets of our solar system.

As CBS News is reporting, the president didn’t inherit a “fixer-upper economy.” He took command of an economy in good condition. It has been on an upward spiral for, oh, the past eight years.

However, the president yet again took pains to disparage the growth rate during the Obama administration years. And, as is the norm, the criticism of President Obama’s handling of the economy was incorrect.

As CBS News noted: While Mr. Trump praised the 4.1 percent annual growth rate in the second quarter, the economy exceeded that level four times during the Obama presidency: in 2009, 2011 and twice in 2014.

The latest numbers are quite good. There’s no mistaking it. Are they sustainable? The trade war impact on various economic sectors will reveal that in due course.

In the meantime, the president and his team — who gripe about Trump Derangement Syndrome afflicting their critics — should check their own vital signs to see if they can ever shake their Obama Derangement Syndrome symptoms.

‘Economy is doing so well’

Donald John Trump is rightfully happy with the state of the national economy.

The stock market is setting records. Joblessness is low. More jobs are being added to non-farm payrolls. Consumer and business confidence is high.

That’s all great, Mr. President.

The president talked about all of that today as White House chief of staff John Kelly reported for work on his first day in the West Wing.

Here’s the deal, though. The trend the president cited is a continuation of the “mess” he supposedly inherited when he took over this past January from Barack H. Obama.

Didn’t the one-time Republican candidate for president trash the daylights out of President Obama’s stewardship of the nation’s economy? Didn’t he cite sluggish GDP growth as part of that so-called “mess”?

I’ll give the president credit, though, for a recent Commerce Department report that ticked up GDP growth a bit past its original estimate. For that, the president can take some measure of credit.

I just find it curiously ironic that one president’s economic “mess” becomes another president’s economic “miracle.”

It's still the economy, stupid

On the eve of the new year, let’s take a quick look at how the economy “tanked” during 2014.

What? Oh, you mean it didn’t? Darn! I must have forgotten about that recent Department of Commerce report that showed the Gross Domestic Product grew at an annual rate of 5 percent for the latest quarter.

OK, I guess that means that the Obama economic policies, those frightening elements that would send the U.S. economy into a tailspin just didn’t do what Republican doomsayers said they would.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-economic-facts-get-in-the-way/2014/12/29/c82d7686-8f9c-11e4-a900-9960214d4cd7_story.html

As the columnist Eugene Robinson wonders in the Washington Post, what in the world are GOP presidential candidates going to campaign on in 2016?

Those darn monthly jobs numbers keep piling up at a rate of a couple hundred thousand jobs a month. Oh, the deficit? It’s down … by about half of what it was annually when Barack Obama took office.

Gasoline prices? They’re down too. Now, the president isn’t able to take credit for the rapid decline in fuel prices, but he sure got the blame from the GOP presidential field in 2012 when they were increasing. Do you remember?

And yes, Wall Street seems happy. The Dow Jones Industrial Index is at 18,000, up more than double where it was in January 2009, when that “socialist” Obama took office. As Robinson noted in his column: “This is terrific for Wall Street and the 1 percenters, but it also fattens the pension funds and retirement accounts of the middle class.”

Uh, hello? Count me as one of those “middle class” Americans who’s happy with the status of his retirement account.

“For years, a central tenet of the Republican argument has been that on economic issues, Obama is either incompetent or a socialist,” Robinson writes. “It should have been clear from the beginning that he is neither, given that he rescued an economy on the brink of tipping into depression — and in a way that was friendly to Wall Street’s interests. But the GOP rarely lets the facts get in the way of a good story, so attacks on Obama’s economic stewardship have persisted.

And they’ll really get cranked up right along with the 2016 campaign.

 

Economy has kicked into high(er) gear

What’s this? The nation’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 5 percent annually?

That’s the greatest increase in the GDP in 11 years. The economy not only has pulled itself back from the abyss, it has kicked itself into high gear.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/dow-crosses-18000-for-first-time-on-gdp-surge/ar-BBh9Hg9

What were investors’ reaction? The Dow Jones Industrial Average today closed at more than 18,000 points for the first time in history. The S&P set another record. Investors are happy. My own retirement account is making me happy again.

Here, though, is where I get confused.

I keep reading doomsayers lament the “wrong direction” the country allegedly is headed. Wrong direction.

The price of gasoline is down. Supply of fossil fuel is up. The United States is now the world’s No. 1 producer of petroleum. That’s one segment of the economy that’s looking up, and is getting the credit for the revised increase in the GDP.

You want more? The budget deficit has been cut by more than half. Remember the yammering of those who wondered whether the economic stimulus would bankrupt the Treasury? It didn’t happen. I consider myself a deficit hawk, so I view the reduction in the deficit as a positive sign that government spending is not hurtling out of control, as some have suggested.

Here’s another kick in the teeth to the naysayers. The most recent jobs report posted more than 300,000 added to the labor force. Even better is that wages are up. It was that pesky wage figure that kept fanning the flames of those who just couldn’t believe the economy had actually turned the corner.

The gloom-and-doom squad is continuing to outshout the other side.

I do not intend to let them get away with it so easily.