Economists throw cold water on Trump's boast about economic growth
Donald Trump wearing a red 'Make America Great Again' at a political rally in Arizona, photo by Gage Skidmore.

On Friday, the newest data from the Department of Commerce found that the U.S. economy topped 3.2 percent annualized growth in the first quarter of 2019 — a rate well beyond what experts were expecting.


President Donald Trump took a victory lap, trumpeting his skill as an economic steward to CNN reporters before an NRA event in Indianapolis. "I'm not allowed to comment," on GDP for 10 to 15 minutes, he said, but "we're knocking it out of the park."

But several economists pointed out that the report conceals some bad news — it turns out that a huge amount of that growth came from one-off events that boosted trade and inventory. Underneath the total number, growth in consumer spending and business investment was much smaller — meaning that the long-term outlook is weaker.

And as Federal Reserve adviser Diane Swonk pointed out, the decline in consumer spending is thanks in part to Trump's disastrous attempt to shut the government down to force Congress to fund his border wall: