White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow on Economic Boom: ‘Policies Matter’

By Melanie Arter | August 17, 2018 | 11:16 AM EDT

National Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow addresses President Donald Trump during a cabinet meeting. (Screenshot)

(CNSNews.com) - National Economic Council Chairman Larry Kudlow on Thursday credited President Donald Trump’s economic policies with creating “a genuine economic boom” in the U.S., including 4.1 percent GDP.

“Policies matter. I mean, America's free market economy -- ordinary people run our economy, entrepreneurs. That's the beauty of it, but policies matter, and when you change that switch, as President Trump has changed that switch, things are happening that a handful of us thought might happen, but I would not say it was widespread,” Kudlow said during a cabinet meeting Thursday.

Kudlow said, “By far, the single biggest event, be it political or otherwise, this year is an economic boom that most people thought would be impossible to generate. Not a rise, not a blip -- a genuine economic boom.”

“And everybody wrote us off, going back to the campaign, and as it was put into place last year, and now the follow through this year, and the numbers are coming in. They just keep coming in, which is one of the reasons I tried to get a hold of the president on this. I mean, we've got 3.1 percent GDP in the first half of the year; 4.1 in the second quarter. The Atlanta Fed is predicting 4.3 in the third quarter. I think it's a very realistic estimate,” he said.

“Here's the point: Anybody who does political forecasting using the economy always focuses on a number -- hang with me -- real disposable income. Just think of it as after-tax pay -- ‘take-home pay,’ Kudlow said.

He said everyone’s wages are benefiting from an increase in take-home pay, and he cited “near record high” consumer confidence numbers.

“So that measure is growing at 3.1 percent the last 12 months. When we came to office, it was less than 1 percent on a 12-month basis. It has jumped. So people say only a few are benefitting. Not true. This is a measure of the entire economy. Everyone's wages and salaries, adjusted for taxes and adjusted for inflation, is growing at 3 percent. It's a tremendous number, and there's no signs that's abating,” Kudlow said.

“Confidence numbers: Large businesses, small businesses, and consumer confidence numbers are at or near record highs, and, from the latest surveys, are continuing to rise. There's no letup in the increase, and confidence is everything,” he said.

“The really wonderful part of the story for me -- and, you know, I get off on this stuff, I understand that -- but it’s very important for the country, Americans, the workforce. The new numbers coming in -- retail sales, industrial production, low inflation, a rock-steady dollar,” Kudlow said.

Kudlow said trillions of dollars of capital are coming into the U.S. from all over the world because of the U.S. economy, investors, and workforce “are crushing it right now.”

He also pushed back on the notion that this was “a one-quarter blip.”

“And people say this is not sustainable, it's a one-quarter blip. It's just nonsense, absolute nonsense. Any business economist worth his or her salt would look at these trends and tell you we're going for a while. We have low inventories. We have rising business investment.

“Productivity is showing the first lift in years. The last number was 1.3 percent for the year. We haven’t seen that in a long time. Businesses are investing. Capital goods is booming. This is a complete turnaround. It's like, if you give Americans some freedom to run, they will run. All right?

“And presidential policy -- low tax rates, roll back regulations, open up energy, trade reforms to help the American workforce and the employers -- across the board, we're not punishing success; we're rewarding success. We're not against businesses. We are for businesses, and we have a president who, in my words, was telling folks to take a rip at the ball, and they're doing it.

And again, people may disagree with me, but I'm saying, this -- we are just in the early stages. We're in the early innings here. We never had a cap goods boom. We're now starting, and we've never seen income numbers like this -- again, after tax, after inflation,” he said.


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