Trump’s economy: The state of growth, jobs and stocks

FAN Editor

As President Donald Trump prepares to address the State of the Union for the first time since assuming office, his pro-business agenda and victories are expected to take center stage.

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From economic growth and job creation, to the surging stock market, business has boomed in America over the past year; spurred in large part by expectations – and the resulting fulfillment – of a longstanding promise to overhaul the U.S. tax code.

Here’s a look at what has changed since the president was inaugurated one year ago:

Economic growth

On Friday, the U.S. Commerce Department said the economy grew at a rate of 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2017, slightly below economists’ expectations of 3%.

For the year, the economy expanded at a rate of 2.3%, compared with just 1.5% in 2016. The economy picked up steam over the course of the year, with GDP registering at just 1.4% during the first quarter, strengthening to 3.1% by the second and 3.2% in the third.

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While the president inherited an improving economy, many companies have committed to increasing capital investments as a result of the newly-implemented tax reform overhaul, which could have a positive effect on growth moving forward.

The Trump administration hopes its economic policies will fuel 4% economic growth in the coming years, once the full effects of its tax reform bill have been realized.

Job creation

Another big promise the administration made to Americans was to spur job creation in the country. In 2017, about 2.1 million new jobs were added to the economy, according to government statistics. In 2016, 2.2 million jobs were created.

Sector-wise, the trends were quite different between 2016 and 2017. Under Trump’s tenure, manufacturing positions jumped by 196,000 in 2017, compared with 2016, when the sector saw a loss of 16,000 jobs.

Retail, on the other hand, saw a loss of 67,000 positions in 2017, compared with a gain of more than 200,000 in the year prior.

There is an expectation that hiring could increase as a result of the tax reform law, as companies invest more in domestic plants and production facilities. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate is hovering at 4.1%, the lowest level since 2000.

Stock market

The past year has been another one for the record books in the stock market. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed past the 26,000 milestone on Jan. 17, and had already halved the distance to the next 1,000 point breakthrough less than ten days later.

Since last year’s inauguration, stocks have climbed xxx, advancing an extended bull market. The S&P 500 rose nearly 20% in 2017, and is already up more than 6% so far this year. Investors have been encouraged by the administration’s pro-growth economic policies, which have included tax reform and deregulation.

The administration also plans to enact a $1 trillion infrastructure plan in 2018, which would provide another sizable injection of capital into the economy by both the federal government and the private sector.

Over the one year ending on the anniversary of President Trump’s election, the Dow had recorded its best performance since 1945.

The day following Trump’s first address to the country last year, the S&P 500 surged 1.5%.

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