“The overall evidence of the report as we see it is that three years into the Trump administration the U.S. economy continues to outperform pre-2016 election expectations,”–Tomas Philipson, acting chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
A new White House report says the U.S. economy is growing faster than expected, even though the annual gains of 3% that President Donald Trump promised to voters have yet to be achieved.
The annual economic report of the president released Thursday said the economy added more jobs, experienced a lower unemployment rate and grew faster than the projections in an August 2016 report by the Congressional Budget Office. It’s part of a broader effort to refute evidence that Trump simply inherited a healthy economy from the Obama administration that had been expanding since the middle of 2009.
The economy under Trump saw a bump in growth in 2018 following the tax cuts that were signed into law during his first year in office. Trump pledged at the time that the roughly $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over 10 years could propel growth upwards of 3%, if not “4, 5, and maybe even 6%.” In fact, growth topped out at 2.9% in 2018, matching the 2015 rate before Trump became president.
The White House acknowledged what many economists considered obvious through much of last year: President Donald Trump’s trade stance depressed economic growth and business investment.
“Uncertainty generated by trade negotiations dampened investment,” Trump chief economist Tomas Philipson told reporters in a briefing on the annual Economic Report of the President released on Thursday.
The admission contrasted with Trump’s repeated assertions that his tariff tactics hadn’t hurt the economy while swelling the government’s tax coffers.