The U.S economy is humming, and President Trump will undoubtedly take credit when he delivers his first State of the Union address on Tuesday.
“The stock market is shattering one record after another,” Trump told his Cabinet earlier this month. “Unemployment is at a 17-year low.”
In a recent ABC/Washington Post poll, nearly 6 out of 10 Americans described the economy as “excellent” or “good” — the most positive rating in 17 years. But only 38 percent said Trump was largely responsible for the country’s economic health. Fifty percent gave more credit to former President Barack Obama.
Indeed, many of the positive trends that Trump has seized upon — including the rising stock market and falling unemployment — began under his predecessor. Job growth actually slowed during Trump’s first year in office, compared to the last year of Obama’s tenure.
Economic growth also slowed in the final months of 2017. According to a preliminary report from the Commerce Department released on Friday, the economy grew at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter — short of the previous six months and the 3 percent-plus growth rate the Trump administration has been aiming for. For all of 2017, GDP grew at a rate of 2.3 percent, faster than 2016 but slower than the two previous years.