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While other political issues are embroiled in controversy — immigration, trade, and foreign policy, to name a few — the United States' economy seems to be in good shape, causing President Trump to often tout positive economic indicators:

The big picture: Unemployment is dropping, applications for disability benefits are plunging, and millennials are finally moving out on their own. But with the threat of a trade war on the horizon and signs that the economy may be soon slowing, there are worries about how long the boom can last.

The good, per CNBC:
  • Millennials are moving out: Millennials, the largest generation in the labor force, are leaving the nest and increasingly heading out on their own,
  • Disability applications are plunging: Fewer than 1.5 million Americans applied for disability benefits in 2017, "the lowest since 2002." Trump touted this statistic in a Saturday morning tweet.
  • Unemployment is dropping: Last week, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits was at 218,000, below the expected 220,000.
  • Homebuilding surged: U.S. homebuilding hit its highest level in May since July 2007.
  • Consumers are optimistic: Consumer sentiment hit its highest level in three months. University of Michigan's chief economist Richard Curtin told CNBS: "Greater certainty about future income and job prospects have become the main drivers of more favorable purchase plans."
Yes, but:
  • The threat of a trade war between the U.S. and its allies is concerning and some economists fear that prolonged economic retaliation could weaken crucial American alliances.
  • The Leading Economic Index fell short of expectations in May, after increasing only .2% instead of .4%. Ataman Ozyildirim, director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board, told CNBC: "The U.S. LEI still points to solid growth but the current trend, which is moderating, indicates that economic activity is not likely to accelerate."
  • While homebuilding surged as mentioned above, there was a drop in homebuilding permits for the second month, which "suggested housing market activity will remain moderate."

Go deeper

Fringe right plots new attacks out of sight

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Domestic extremists are using obscure and private corners of the internet to plot new attacks ahead of Inauguration Day. Their plans are also hidden in plain sight, buried in podcasts and online video platforms.

Why it matters: Because law enforcement was caught flat-footed during last week's Capitol siege, researchers and intelligence agencies are paying more attention to online threats that could turn into real-world violence.

Kids’ screen time up 50% during pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When the coronavirus lockdowns started in March, kidstech firm SuperAwesome found that screen time was up 50%. Nearly a year later, that percentage hasn't budged, according to new figures from the firm.

Why it matters: For most parents, pre-pandemic expectations around screen time are no longer realistic. The concern now has shifted from the number of hours in front of screens to the quality of screen time.

In photos: D.C. and U.S. states on alert for pre-inauguration violence

National Guard troops stand behind security fencing with the dome of the U.S. Capitol Building behind them, on Jan. 16. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Security has been stepped up in Washington, D.C., and state capitols across the U.S. as authorities brace for potential violence this weekend.

Driving the news: Following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by some supporters of President Trump, the FBI has said there could be armed protests in D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the run-up to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration Wednesday.