Republicans praised the 3.5 percent third-quarter growth rate announced Friday as more evidence that President Donald Trump’s agenda of deregulations, renegotiated international trade deals, and tax cuts for individuals and corporations is working.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) found the economy grew at 3.5 percent during the third quarter, which beat expectations.
The rate for the previous quarter was 4.2 percent, the highest since 2014.
“[Trump’s] America First agenda is creating opportunities, increasing prosperity & GROWING the economy,” Vice President Mike Pence said in a tweet. “And today’s GDP numbers show that the GDP is on track to grow over 3 percent for the FIRST TIME in 13 years. Another PROMISE MADE, PROMISE KEPT!”
.@POTUS’ America First agenda is creating opportunities. increasing prosperity & GROWING the economy. And today’s GDP numbers show that the GDP is on track to grow over 3% for the FIRST TIME in 13 years. Another PROMISE MADE, PROMISE KEPT! https://t.co/KPj7ooLvgD
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 26, 2018
“Defying ‘conventional wisdom’ once again, 3.5 percent growth is the latest sign that the Trump economy continues to surge,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement. “The president’s actions from deregulation to tax reform have supercharged the American economy, driving it to new heights.”
The gross domestic product (GDP) measures the market value of all goods and services produced over a specific period of time. It is the primary measure used to evaluate the economic performance of a country or region.
“Month by month, we’ve seen consumer confidence rise, the job market strengthen, and unemployment decline,” Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc., pictured above left) said in a statement.
“These things add up. Today’s report shows American consumers are empowered to spend again. These results are no accident. This is what happens when we pass policies to help American consumers, workers, and businesses generate economic growth and opportunity.”
The BEA quarterly report suggests the country is on track to reach an annual growth rate of at least 3 percent for 2018. While the president was hoping for more, the economy hasn’t reached that annual growth rate since 2005. The rate was 2.0 percent for the first quarter of this year and 2.3 percent for all of 2017.
“STRONG economic news keeps rolling in,” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) said in a tweet. “The economy grew at a 3.5 percent annual rate in Q3 — above expectations. During the past 4 quarters, GDP has grown 3.0 percent. Plus the lowest unemployment rate in 49 years!”
STRONG economic news keeps rolling in! The economy grew at a 3.5% annual rate in Q3 – above expectations. During the past 4 quarters, GDP has grown 3.0%. Plus the lowest unemployment rate in 49 years! #MAGA #BetterOffNow https://t.co/ySl04x78sC
— Rep. Jeff Duncan (@RepJeffDuncan) October 26, 2018
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) echoed the sentiment, while adding that the report is the latest indicator that Republican policies like tax and regulatory cuts have reenergized the economy.
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) declared in his own tweet that the economy is firing on all cylinders.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) said the economy is now stronger than it has been in more than a decade.
Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) argued there was no doubt it was due to deregulation and tax cuts.
Not everyone is in agreement that Republicans are the ones who should be credited.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a progressive think tank, argued that it was Republicans who caused the problems that hampered the economy. Former President Barack Obama oversaw an unusually slow economic recovery throughout his time in office.
“Congressional Republicans spent a decade strangling economic recovery for political gain,” an EPI report stated. “Millions of American families suffered unnecessarily because of this. They don’t deserve credit for releasing the chokehold now that it’s politically expedient. And the tax cut they constructed with President Trump has been staggeringly tilted toward the rich and as inefficient and wasteful as fiscal stimulus could possibly be.”
The BEA report shows the increase in real GDP in the third quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, private inventory investment, state and local government spending, federal government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment.
This was met with real consumer spending growing at a 4 percent annual rate in the third quarter, compared to 2.6 percent during the prior four quarters.