We’re not quite at a sustained elevated growth rate of 3 percent yet, but the latest economy snapshot tells us we are knocking on the door. The growth rate over the last four quarters came in at 2.9 percent, which was higher than any of the eight years of the Obama presidency. Halfway through this current quarter, which began on April 1, the Atlanta Federal Reserve estimates growth at 4 percent. If that persists through the end of June, we will have reached an average growth rate of 3 percent under President Trump.
Not bad, given that nearly every liberal Trump critic trashed the president’s campaign forecast of 3 percent to 4 percent growth as an impossible dream. Economists like Larry Summers, Mr. Obama’s first chief economist, gloomily declared that we were mired in a new era of “secular stagnation” and that 3 percent growth was unachievable. Paul Krugman of The New York Times said it was more likely we would see flying cars than 3 percent to 4 percent growth.
Now for the even better news. We are already starting to see a fiscal dividend from Mr. Trump’s tax, energy and regulatory pro-business policies. The Congressional Budget Office reports that tax revenues in April — by far the biggest month of the year for tax collections because of the April 15 filing deadline — totaled $515 billion, which was a robust 13 percent rise in receipts over last year.