Fan of the president- not a fan of the president. Doesn't matter. But there are certain things we Americans cannot deny.
Like the fact our economy is thriving.
Whether or not you think President Trump is responsible for this is beside the point. I think it is vital to understand what is going on fiscally in our country as social issues tend to take over the headlines and the state of our country can seem a bit, well, depressing.
Fiscal stories are what some, well, maybe lots would deem boring. Here is brief (hopefully not confusing) synopsis of how the American economy is doing:
Today, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers were released for the 2nd quarter of 2018. GDP is released for each of the 4 quarters of the year (similar to companies- although corporations fiscal years may not begin in January.)
1st quarter = January 1st -March 30th. 2nd quarter = April 1st - June 30th...you get the idea.
GDP is detailed in Barneys, Bergdorfs & Bill$, but basically it is the best way to measure a country's economy. It is the total value of everything produced by all the people and companies in the country- if they are located within a country's boundaries, the government counts that production into GDP.
Gross Domestic Product = Personal Consumption Expenditures (how much Americans spend on goods) + Business Investment + Government Spending + (Exports - Imports)- - hang in there, this gets simpler.
Nominal vs. Real GDP: real values are adjusted for inflation, nominal values are not- with this, nominal GDP values will appears higher.
Inflation: the rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services are rising. When inflation rises, the power of your currency (our dollar)- falls.
Don't let the words confuse you- it may seem complicated but the principle is simple.
Understand inflation is why people invest their money. They invest to make a return. While it may seem more safe to stash your cash in your bank account- due to inflation, your money is devaluing. The goal is "price stability." Not too much inflation, not too little.
So what did today's report say and what does that say about our economy?
First half of 2018 results:
Tariffs. You have no doubt heard the conversation revolving around tariffs, most notably, the battle with China.
So what's the skinny and how does this factor into our economy?
In a nutshell:
And as you can see above, not everything is hunky dory but overall, fiscally, things are going well.
It is easy to be consumed by the "gloom and doom" on newspaper headlines and mainstream news.
These stories sell, and don't get me wrong, obviously not everything in this country is going swimmingly, but these figures released today are something Americans should be proud of.
You can credit whomever you like with these successes. I tend to agree with the idea that if things are going well, Presidents may get too much praise. If things are going poorly, Presidents may obtain too much flack.
A lot of what goes on is not necessarily a direct result of their actions but a combination of many elements and potentially have been years in the making.
The soon to be retiring CEO of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, said this at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland this past January and I think he nailed it:
I like a lot more stuff than I don't. The stuff I don't like is not as substantive. Some of it is, and some of it is social aspects. I've said this, but I don't want to be hypocritical either.
I've really liked what he (President Trump) has done for the economy and I think he's gone out of his way to be very, very supportive of the system.
Frankly, I want to honor that.
We are America.