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Trump Breaks Tradition on GDP Figures

He says numbers will be 'unthinkable'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2018 4:43 AM CDT
Updated Jul 27, 2018 6:49 AM CDT
President Donald Trump speaks at the United States Steel Granite City Works plant Thursday, July 26, 2018, in Granite City, Ill.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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(Newser) – It's not traditional for presidents to comment on economic growth figures before they are released, but President Trump isn't exactly a stickler for tradition. At a rally at an Illinois steel plant on Thursday, Trump predicted that the numbers released by the Commerce Department on Friday morning would be very good indeed, the Wall Street Journal reports. He said somebody had predicted 5.3% growth, which he didn't think would happen, but he'd be happy with anything over around 3.7%. "These are unthinkable numbers," Trump said. "If I would have used these numbers during the campaign, the fake news back there would’ve said he’s exaggerating."

At a rally in Iowa earlier Thursday, Trump told the crowd that there had been a lot of predictions—"some with a 5 in front of it." He predicted it would be close, though economists surveyed by the Journal believe a figure of around 4.4% second-quarter growth is more likely. In his Illinois speech, Trump credited his tariffs with boosting the economy and helping the Granite City steel plant reopen, Fox News reports. "After years of shutdowns and cutbacks ... workers are back on the job, and we are once again pouring new American steel back into the spine of our country," he said. (Read more GDP stories.)

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