President Trump has now gotten the US economic expansion to outlast any other in modern history.
As of Monday, growth has rolled along for 121 months straight, starting in June 2009. The now-second-longest expansion ran from March 1991 to March 2001. The new record is also over twice the 58 months of the average expansion since 1980.
All of which means that, even with the weakness of the growth for most of the Obama era, the economy was overdue for a dip when Trump took office. Yet it has instead remained pretty strong, expanding 2.9% in 2018 and at an annual 3.1% for the first quarter of 2019.
Unemployment has fallen steadily, too, to its lowest level in 50 years: In May, the seasonally adjusted rate was 3.4%, down from 5.1% in January 2017. Job openings in April topped the number of unemployed by the widest margin ever, and the tight labor market has fueled wage hikes.
Trump’s deregulation and tax cuts, each a stark reverse of Obama policies, changed the course. As Bankrate senior economist Mark Hamrick told The Post, the president unleashed America’s “animal spirits,” boosting the stock market and consumer confidence. (The S&P 500 and the Dow hit record highs Monday, on news of a truce in the US-China trade war.)
And growth has “lifted all boats,” notes Hamrick. Despite the Democratic line, the “1%” are far from the only ones to gain. Federal Reserve data show that pay hikes these past three years surged faster for the poorest quarter of workers (4.4%) than for the richest (3.2%).
Blue-collar employment is also up big since January 2017: 657,000 new construction jobs and 484,000 more in manufacturing. And joblessness among blacks fell from 7.7% in January 2017 to 6.2% in May.
Nothing lasts forever, but when the economy does finally turn south, it’s well worth remembering which policies delivered the record results.
Source: Read Full Article