WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is prematurely claiming he proved naysayers wrong in boosting U.S. economic growth. Speaking at events Thursday in Iowa and Illinois, Trump claimed victory in advance of Friday’s government release of quarterly gross domestic product data, saying “nobody thought we were going to be this good” and that when he became president, “those numbers were bad.” In fact, the skepticism from economists has centered more on whether strong GDP growth would be sustainable after a few quarters. That question has yet to be answered; it’s not unusual for the economy to surge forward temporarily.Trump also falsely repeated a claim that the U.S. economy is the best “we’ve ever had” and incorrectly asserted that Canada’s trade market is “totally closed.”A look at the claims:TRUMP: “We’re having the best economy we’ve ever had in the history of our country.” — remarks in Granite City, Illinois.THE FACTS: Even allowing for some Trumpian exaggeration, this overstates things.The unemployment rate is near a 40-year low and growth is solid, but by many measures the current economy trails other periods in U.S. history. Average hourly pay, before adjusting for inflation, is rising at about a 2.5 percent annual rate, below the 4… Read full this story
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