Recent reports about the U.S. economy were a case of good news and bad news. The good news is that, in the second three months of the year, the U.S. economy grew at an estimated 4.1%—better than the 2.2% growth posted during 2018’s first quarter. The 4.1% figure is subject to revision as economists refine the numbers, but a 4% growth rate, if sustained through a period of years, would greatly bolster the wealth of all Americans.
The bad news is that the economy will almost certainly not sustain this growth rate. And despite what you are hearing from political pundits, there is also nothing remarkable about a single quarter’s 4.1% GDP increase. The economy exceeded last quarter’s level four times during the Obama presidency, in 2009, 2011 and twice in 2014. 4.1% growth would have been considered alarmingly slow during the Reagan presidency.