The U.S. economy in the first quarter of the Trump Era


After being in the White House for six months, Trump is already leaving his mark on the economy and making good on his vow to “make America great again.”

According to the latest figures from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), real estate and rental and leasing, mining, and durable goods manufacturing were the leading contributors to the increase in U.S. economic growth during the first quarter of 2017.

On Friday, the BEA released its latest report showing that the real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter grew by 1.4 percent and also indicated that mining, construction, and manufacturing sectors are fueling the economy, with mining seeing a surge of 21.6 percent and construction growing at 5.6 percent in the first quarter.

Similarly, manufacturing experienced a boost of 4.7 percent, with a 5.0 percent growth seen in the manufacturing of nondurable goods such as clothing and food supplies, and a 4.4 percent growth in durable goods manufacturing.

The BEA’s report reads:

Mining increased 21.6 percent, after increasing 5.2 percent. The first quarter growth primarily reflected increases in oil and gas extraction, as well as support activities for mining. This was the largest increase since the fourth quarter of 2014.

Durable goods manufacturing increased 4.4 percent, after increasing 0.7 percent. The first quarter growth primarily reflected increases in motor vehicles, bodies and trailers, and parts manufacturing, as well as machinery manufacturing.

For the real estate and rental and leasing sectors, real value added—a measure of an industry’s contribution to GDP—increased by 2.7 percent, making it the twelfth consecutive quarter to experience growth, thereby reflecting further stimulated housing and rental industries.

Meanwhile, industries that did not fare quite as well were the finance and insurance sectors, dropping 2.1 percent in the first quarter.

Other industries that decelerated in real GDP during the first quarter also include:

  • Retail trade (-3.6 percent)
  • Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (-39.8 percent)
  • Utilities (-6.4 percent)
  • Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation, and food services (-0.9 percent)

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