As the weather was heating up this summer, so was our economy. After economic growth surged in the first quarter of the year, several encouraging signs over the summer months showed that momentum was not slowing down.
Much of this momentum was spurred by House Republican policies that laid the foundation for an economy that breeds opportunity. And it’s working in a number of ways: Workers are beginning to feel better, confidence is reaching new heights, businesses are reinvesting in the economy. The American people are better off now.
Here are some recent highlights that may have slipped through the cracks:
- 51 percent: A recently released survey shows 51 percent of workers feel satisfied about their jobs—the highest level this statistic has reached since 2005. As noted by The Wall Street Journal, “Americans report feeling better about their pay along with a greater sense of job security, both features of an economy with a low unemployment rate and a long decline in layoffs.” In an especially positive shift, the story also notes that satisfaction among workers with an income under $75,000 has climbed for two years in a row.
- 61.3: Manufacturing is continuing its resurgence. This morning, the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index hit 61.3 percent—its highest level in 14 years—pointing to growth in the sector. The Richmond Fed’s latest Composite Manufacturing Index also beat expectations, climbing to 24 in August from 20 in July. These indicators build on other surveys showing manufacturers are optimistic. The Composite index also specifically showed manufacturing employment grew during the month.
- 8.3 percent: Business investment is skyrocketing. Analysis from the Council of Economic Advisers shows business investment has increased at an annual rate of 8.3 percent over the past three quarters—a big change compared to the 1.8 percent rate over the four quarters of 2016. Additionally, key equipment orders increased in July, “signaling that business investment started the third quarter on a strong note.” According to Reuters, “Business spending on equipment is being supported by the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion income tax cut package.”
- 69.7: Under the title “Local Economic Outlook Pushes Optimism To Record High,” the MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released their third quarter Small Business Index last week. Small business owners’ views about the health of their own business, paired with optimism about the future of the national economy, helped throttle the index upward.
- 0.4 percent: Consumer spending rose 0.4 percent in July, data from the Commerce Department reported last month. Year-over-year, spending was up 2.8 percent in July. These numbers “suggest the economy is sustaining momentum in the second half of the year after a pickup in growth over the first six months.” Better financial footing is helping households drive the economy. The Bureau of Economic Analysis found disposable personal income up 2.9 percent over the past year, as well as an increase in the personal saving rate.