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Politifact: Fact-checking Donald Trump’s talking points about the economy

President Donald Trump campaigned hard on a promise to kick the economy into high gear and with the latest economic numbers, he had something to crow about. The economy grew at an annualized rate of 4.1 percent between April and June.

Independent analysts are skeptical about how long this growth spurt can last.

“Unfortunately, this rapid growth is largely the effect of a one-time sugar high and is not representative of likely growth over the course of the next year, let alone the next decade,” the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget wrote after Trump’s remarks.

The group cited a confluence of positive events in early 2018 that won’t be repeated indefinitely: the passage of a major tax bill in December 2017, a 13 percent bump in discretionary spending in the latest federal appropriations bill, and accelerated purchases of goods in advance of threatened Trump administration tariffs, notably soybeans.

The pro-business Tax Foundation also injected a note of caution, writing, “A short time period is not sufficient to make conclusions about long-term policy changes.”

Quarterly increases of at least 4 percent are not unheard of. That level was reached four times under President Barack Obama, including heights Trump has not yet reached, such as 4.6 percent (twice) and 5.2 percent (once). On two other occasions, Obama oversaw 3.9 percent growth.

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