WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is in its 11th year of a record-setting economic expansion, a fact that President Donald Trump is expected to highlight in his State of the Union speech to Congress on Tuesday.
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump rallies with supporters in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S. January 30, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
With “The Great American Comeback” as the theme of his speech, Trump plans to highlight the strength of the U.S. economy and achievements to support it like a China trade deal and another trade pact with Mexico and Canada.
But there are also some key measurements of the economy Trump may not cite.
As a candidate in 2016, Trump promised economic growth and job creation. (tmsnrt.rs/2P4ZAuG) His address to Congress will no doubt focus on some indisputably positive outcomes in these areas.
The unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, for example, and wages are rising for lower-skilled jobs (tmsnrt.rs/37QkEKG).
For those heavily invested in the stock market, the bull market’s gains have been heady, although they mostly went to a small group of Americans at the top of the economy.
But things are not all rosy (tmsnrt.rs/3b9ZgSz). Overall economic growth is sluggish compared to historical averages.
The administration’s trade wars unleashed uncertainty and slowed global economies around the world, but they have not put an obvious dent in U.S. trade deficits — something Trump said he would eliminate.
There has been no sign that productivity or business investment are surging, something administration officials pledged would flow from a large corporate tax cut.
What the tax cut did instead was fuel a return to record deficits (tmsnrt.rs/2vMrwL2).
Reporting by Howard Schneider; Editing by Cynthia Osterman