Trump's "Greatest Economy Ever" Revised Away By Annual Data 'Corrections'

Not wanting to entirely rain on America's parade, after a stronger than expected set of data on growth this morning, President Trump's much-heralded 3.0% GDP growth in 2018 - "greatest economy ever" - has been slashed by annual revisions.

As Bloomberg reports, updated government figures show that gross domestic product expanded 2.5% on a fourth-quarter-over-fourth-quarter basis last year.

That compares with a previous estimate of 3% and an upwardly revised 2.8% in 2017, the first year of Trump’s presidency.

Slower growth of business investment and exports, along with a greater output in the fourth quarter of 2017 that made the comparison less favorable.

Growth in the final three months of 2018 is now pegged at an annualized 1.1%, half the previous estimate and the slowest pace in three years, as consumer spending downshifted significantly.

Full-year revisions for other recent years were fairly minor and didn’t shift the economy’s overall trajectory. Year-over-year growth in 2017 was revised slightly higher, to 2.4% from an earlier estimate of 2.2%, largely due to higher government spending, higher consumer spending on goods and the availability of new government finance data.

WSJ also notes that, measured another way - total output for 2018 compared with total output for 2017 - the economy grew 2.9% last year. That figure was unrevised from the government’s earlier estimates, and it marked the strongest yearly pace of growth since 2015.

Finally, WSJ notes that the 2.3% average annual economic growth of the current decade-long expansion compares with 2.9% during the previous expansion from late 2001 to 2007, and 3.6% in the 10-year expansion that ended in early 2001.

Cue, Larry Kudlow...