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The success of a presidency can depend just as much on luck as skill. The economy, which is subject to powerful forces other than just public policy, is especially an area where a president can be aided by good fortune.

On most measures of economic health, President Trump's inheritance is generally richer than his predecessors' — save for one: per capita GDP growth. This is partly the result of a serious slowdown in corporate investment and labor productivity growth, two problems he hopes his tax and regulatory reforms will solve.

But today jobs are being created, the unemployment rate is low, and wage-growth is accelerating. These trends have put consumers in a good mood, and primed the wider economy for faster growth.

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Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, University of Michigan; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon / Axios

But this is just the starting line: Presidents aren't remembered for where the economy was when they were inaugurated. It's the end of the term that matters. So Trump could be blessed with good fortune now, only to be blamed if economic fortunes turn.

Go deeper

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Podcasts

Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck

President Biden has said that getting Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 is his administration’s top priority given an initial rollout plagued by organizational, logistical and technical glitches.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the bottlenecks and how to unclog them with Carbon Health chief executive Eren Bali, whose company recently began helping to manage vaccinations in Los Angeles.