Trump predicts GDP growth could soon 'be in the 5s'

Trump predicts GDP growth could soon 'be in the 5s'
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: I hope voters pay attention to Dem tactics amid Kavanaugh fight South Korea leader: North Korea agrees to take steps toward denuclearization Graham calls handling of Kavanaugh allegations 'a drive-by shooting' MORE on Tuesday predicted that GDP growth could top 5 percent in the near future, a bullish prediction that comes as his administration seeks to present its policies as the driver of future economic growth.

Trump gave a glowing review of the state of the economy under his administration during a dinner with roughly 30 business leaders at his Bedminster, N.J., golf course. He touted the low unemployment rates, and suggested that his "powerful trade policies" could unleash further gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

"We anticipate this next quarter to be, this is just an estimate, but already they’re saying it could be in the fives," Trump said — meaning GDP growth would top 5 percent. He added that the recent 4.1 percent figure “can go much higher once we get new trade deals.”

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White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who also attended Tuesday's dinner, praised the most recent numbers and predicted a similar result moving forward.

Trump then doubled down on his optimism, responding that there will be "super growth very soon.”

The Commerce Department reported late last month that the economy grew at a 4.1 percent rate from April to June — the highest level in nearly four years.

Skeptics noted that the numbers may have been bolstered by a temporary surge from the tax cut passed at the end of last year, and by farmers buying soybeans to get ahead of Trump's tariffs.

While Trump has taken a victory lap over the significant growth, he raised the bar with his prediction of 5 percent growth. Such a figure is not unprecedented, but is uncommon.

The economy expanded at a rate of 5.2 percent during the the third quarter of 2014 under former President Obama. Prior to that, it had not topped 5 percent since the early 2000s.

Trump rationalized Tuesday that once his administration reaches new trade agreements with a host of other nations, the economy will boom even further. 

The president has drawn significant bipartisan criticism for levying tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the European Union, Canada and Mexico, among others. Trump's tariffs have prompted those nations to impose retaliatory duties on American goods.

The U.S. and European Union late last month agreed to start negotiations about a new trade deal, with a goal of working toward eliminating industrial tariffs.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and China have engaged in a tit-for-tat exchange of tariffs, raising concerns of a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

The two countries have already slapped $34 billion worth of tariffs on each other, and the United States trade representative announced Tuesday that Trump will impose 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion worth of Chinese imports starting Aug. 23.

"We're in a little bit of a fight with China right now," Trump told business leaders on Tuesday, adding that he's a "big fan" of Chinese President Xi Jingping.

"We want them to do well, but we want them to treat us fairly," he added. "They have not treated us fairly for many decades."