Economist Said Trump Could Never Grow The GDP At The Rate Now Being Predicted

Robert Donachie | Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter

Economists are predicting 2018 GDP growth that completely blows even President Donald Trump’s expectations out of the water.

The Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank is predicting 5.4 percent GDP growth for the first-quarter of 2018, up over one percent from its original Jan. 29 first-quarter prediction. 5.4 percent growth would be the highest growth rate since the third quarter of 2003.

Trump promised during his 2016 campaign to bring about sustained 4 percent, or higher, GDP growth and create tens of millions of new jobs within his first term in office.

“We’re at 1 percent (GDP growth) and maybe going lower, believe it or not. Right now we’re at 1 percent. I think 4 percent is easily attainable,” Trump said.

Many economists doubted Trump’s promise and called him out for making claims they deemed dubious and unwarranted.

“I do not see how any examination of U.S. history could possibly support the Trump forecast as a reasonable expectation,” Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary and Harvard President, wrote in a May 2017 Washington Post op-ed.

“As a reminder, the Trump Treasury department claims that tax cuts will pay for themselves because the economy will grow at almost 3 percent a year for the next decade. This growth projection didn’t come from any model; it was just pulled out of … well, you fill in the rest,” Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman wrote Sunday in The New York Times.

The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the third quarter of 2017, posting the best back-to-back quarterly growth rates in three years. Fourth-quarter growth rates fell slightly to 2.8 percent.

Reaching 3 percent growth, sustained or otherwise, is no small achievement, considering the U.S. economy grew at a steady 2 percent rate over the past decade.

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