STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Why America's economy is so healthy

The Trump economy got off to a good start in 2017. And the president has a simple message: America is great on my wat...

Posted: Jan 27, 2018 4:14 PM
Updated: Jan 27, 2018 4:14 PM

The Trump economy got off to a good start in 2017. And the president has a simple message: America is great on my watch.

"The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America," Trump said in front of world leaders, CEOs and the press at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Friday.

The U.S. economy grew 2.3% last year, according to figures released Friday. That's the best growth in two years.

Consumers, small business owners and CEOs are confident partly due to President Trump's agenda. He and congressional Republicans delivered a major tax cut for corporations and individuals, and some companies have promised bonuses or raises for employees as a result. Many more are hinting at bigger payments to shareholders. Some foreign companies, like Samsung, have also opened up new factories in the United States too.

But there's another undeniable force behind the strong American economy: the global economy's own resurgence. Its comeback last year helped boost at least two things Trump takes sole credit for: Jobs and stocks.

The global economy grew 3.7% last year, its fastest pace since 2010, according to new estimates from the IMF. One especially rare thing happened in 2017: Every major country or region grew, from China to Europe to Latin America to Japan.

Related: What Davos thought of Trump's speech

Europe's economy is firing on all cylinders. China's growth is stable. Japan is finally on the rebound. And Latin America's big players (excluding Venezuela) have emerged from recession.

A lot of U.S. companies sell their products in those markets. A healthier global economy lifted the profits of American companies. Higher sales and profits helped to boost U.S. stock markets to records last year.

But global growth matters to the American economy, especially for one sector Trump wants to expand: Manufacturing.

American exports rose 5.5% last year. That may not sound like much, but it's a major turnaround from an export decline in 2016. And manufacturing depends heavily on selling planes, cars, medical equipment and other goods around the world.

Related: Trump would consider 'substantially better' TPP

As exports rose, American factories added nearly 200,000 jobs last year. A year earlier, U.S. manufacturers were cutting jobs.

A key factor for manufacturing companies is the value of the U.S. dollar. A weaker dollar makes American products more affordable to foreign buyers. The dollar lost about 10% of its value last year.

Other currencies around the world became more valuable, after central banks pulled back stimulus and economies became healthier.

Meanwhile, economists, even at the IMF, anticipate that U.S. tax cuts will boost the economy this year -- but they won't be a long-term game changer. They predict growth will return to a ho-hum level slightly above 2% by 2019 or 2020. That expectation has dragged the dollar even lower.

Trump told CNBC Thursday he expects the dollar to get "stronger and stronger" in the future, alluding to the economy's gains under his watch. Since the start of the year, it's down 3.3% to its lowest level in three years. Again, economists point to other countries' economies catching up.

Economic growth in Year 2 of the Trump economy may even be better. The IMF predicts 2.7% growth in America. If it gets there, the rest of the world can take credit too. IMF officials see global growth rising again this year to 3.9%.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 32078

Reported Deaths: 2004
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9268539
Lake3320168
Cass15826
Allen130966
St. Joseph120534
Hendricks113067
Hamilton111592
Johnson1086104
Elkhart105728
Madison58258
Porter49021
Bartholomew48133
Clark46138
LaPorte41522
Tippecanoe3753
Jackson3671
Howard36519
Delaware35735
Hancock32127
Shelby31521
Floyd31438
Boone28835
Morgan26224
Vanderburgh2482
Montgomery23117
White2268
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Grant19121
Noble18921
Harrison18721
Dubois1852
Greene16724
Warrick16426
Dearborn16421
Henry1619
Monroe16011
Vigo1477
Lawrence14423
Miami1391
Putnam1337
Jennings1274
Orange12422
Scott1183
Ripley1126
Franklin1068
Kosciusko941
Carroll922
Daviess8216
Steuben802
Marshall761
Newton7410
Wabash722
Wayne715
Fayette684
LaGrange602
Jasper581
Washington521
Fulton471
Rush452
Jay440
Randolph433
Jefferson411
Whitley402
Pulaski390
Clay391
Owen341
Brown331
Sullivan321
Starke313
DeKalb311
Perry260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton251
Benton250
Wells240
Crawford230
Blackford211
Switzerland190
Fountain182
Spencer171
Posey170
Parke170
Gibson142
Ohio130
Warren121
Adams121
Vermillion90
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0154

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 113195

Reported Deaths: 4923
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook738193354
Lake7767250
DuPage7290340
Kane5866153
Will5238258
Winnebago199351
McHenry145268
St. Clair101773
Kankakee80242
Kendall72719
Rock Island63922
Champaign5697
Madison54056
Boone40716
Sangamon33226
DeKalb3313
Randolph2593
Jackson22810
McLean21210
Stephenson1952
Ogle1922
Macon18819
Peoria1858
Clinton17816
Out of IL1771
Union1417
LaSalle14013
Whiteside13310
Iroquois1314
Unassigned1200
Coles1159
Warren1140
Jefferson10116
Knox950
Monroe9211
Grundy892
McDonough835
Lee761
Tazewell683
Cass670
Henry670
Williamson541
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin421
Perry410
Pulaski400
Montgomery391
Vermilion391
Morgan341
Christian334
Livingston312
Douglas280
Jo Daviess270
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Washington180
Woodford182
Mason170
Menard170
Shelby161
Bureau151
Hancock150
Mercer150
Carroll132
Franklin120
Piatt120
Crawford110
Fulton110
Bond101
Brown100
Clark100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Schuyler100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
White20
Calhoun10
Hardin10
Pike10
Pope10
Putnam10
Edgar00
Terre Haute
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Robinson
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 67°
Indianapolis
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 69°
Rockville
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 62°
Casey
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Brazil
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Marshall
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Showers Likely
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events