Revising The Numbers

Economists seems to have a problem lately correctly predicting economic growth. They always seem a bit surprised when the numbers come in higher than what they predicted. Well, it has happened again.

The Gateway Pundit is reporting the following today:

The fourth quarter GDP number was released on Thursday and beat expectations at 2.6%Economists expected a 2.2% GDP rate.

CNBC says the GDP report was only preliminary, it would mean average growth for the year was 3.1 percent.

...Ronald Reagan brought forth an annual real GDP growth of 3.5% . Barack Obama, with his abysmal policies, was lucky to average a GDP growth rate of slightly greater than 1%.

Obama ranked as the fourth worst presidency on record in GDP growth at 1.457% . Only Herbert Hoover (-5.65% ), Andrew Johnson (-0.70% ) and Theodore Roosevelt (1.41% ) had lower average annual GDP growth than Barack Obama.

The Commerce Department announced in the first quarter of 2016 that the US economy expanded at the slowest pace in two years with a GDP growth rate of an anemic 0.5% . The second quarter GDP growth rate was not much better at 1.2% . (The 3rd quarter GDP rate was not yet announced by the time we drafted our post before the 2016 election.)

…Barack Obama was the first President ever to never surpass an annual rate of 3% GDP growth!  This resulted in Obama being rated the worst economic President ever!

Obama’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecast in 2016 that America would never see 3.0% economic growth again. They had given up and Hillary was their candidate.

President Trump did win the election in 2016 and his Director of the White House National Economic Council Larry Kudlow said in early December that the U.S. economy is growing at a rate greater than 3% –

This is good news for people in the job market and people entering the job market. Jobs are becoming more plentiful and salaries are rising.

Leadership Matters

Bloomberg is reporting today that real disposable income, or earnings adjusted for taxes and inflation, advanced 0.6 percent from the prior month, the biggest gain since April 2015, according to a Commerce Department report Thursday. Part of that I suspect is due to the tax cuts, but there are other things that have made this possible.

The article reports:

The data, covering the first month since the tax law was signed in December, reflected a $30 billion increase in one-time bonuses and a $115.5 billion annualized drop in personal taxes, the Commerce Department said. Such boosts to Americans’ wallets, along with a tight labor market, will sustain spending. Those items, plus rising prices, are likely to keep Fed policy makers on track for at least three interest-rate increases this year, including one that’s widely expected later in March.

 A separate Labor Department report on Thursday showed weekly filings for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level since 1969.

 The reduction in taxes helped boost the saving rate to 3.2 percent, the highest since August, from 2.5 percent in December, which was the lowest since 2007.

Most Americans pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than what Medieval serfs paid the lord of the manor to farm their land.

The article concludes:

The Fed’s preferred price gauge — tied to consumption — rose 0.4 percent in January from the previous month and was up 1.7 percent from a year earlier. Inflation has mostly missed the central bank’s 2 percent target since 2012, though policy makers expect it to rise toward the goal.

Excluding food and energy, so-called core prices rose 0.3 percent, matching the median estimate. The core index, which Fed officials see as a better indicator of underlying price pressures, was up 1.5 percent from January 2017, the same annual gain as the prior three months.

Adjusted for inflation, personal spending declined 0.1 percent in January from the prior month, the first decrease in a year. The weakness reflected a 1.6 percent slump in outlays for durable goods as auto sales cooled.

There are a number of reasons for the improvement of the economy–ending regulations that made it very difficult to start or run a business, putting more money in Americans’ pockets by lowering the individual tax burden, ending the financial penalties that were included in ObamaCare, lowering corporate tax rates to make American more competitive worldwide as a place to locate a business, and simply making it clear that America now welcomes businesses and is prepared to encourage entrepreneurship. Even if you don’t support President Trump, you need to acknowledge that he has been a successful businessman who is attempting to bring that success to America as a whole.