Americans endured pathetic economic growth for the entire Obama presidency, but the latest news suggests things finally may be brightening.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that Gross Domestic Product in this year’s second quarter grew at a 3.1 percent annual clip — up from an initial estimate of 2.6 percent and the sharpest spike in two years.
First-quarter growth was an anemic 1.2 percent, after eight years that averaged just 1.8 percent average annual gains, with President Barack Obama becoming the only chief executive to never preside over a single year of at least 3 percent growth.
True, the second quarter’s encouraging number alone is no guarantee President Trump will hit his target of regular 3 percent growth. But clearly Americans are more optimistic about the economy, and that’s driving growth: Second-quarter spending by consumers (up 3.3 percent) and businesses (up 8.8 percent) was strong.
Fueling their hopes: Trump’s burden-easing business reforms, his ongoing deregulation efforts and his vows to slash both commercial and personal taxes.
Compare all that to New York’s plight. Here, Gov. Cuomo and lawmakers have been working overtime to slow growth — jacking up the minimum wage, tacking on other labor costs, banning fracking and nixing critical natural-gas pipelines.
They’ve succeeded, too: New York’s growth has lagged the nation’s in every year of Cuomo’s term, save 2012. In the first quarter of 2017, the state’s economy barely grew (by just 0.3 percent), while the nation at least saw a 1.2 percent uptick. Heck, in 2013 the Empire State actually shrunk 0.3 percent, despite 1.5 percent national growth.
And, as the Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon notes, every one of the state’s 12 “metropolitan statistical areas” saw growth below the national average in 2016.
If New York doesn’t change its ways and get serious about lowering taxes and cutting back regulation, it will keep on losing ground.