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.

(function () { var attempt = 0, init = function(){ if (window.pym) { var pymParent = new pym.Parent("g-2017-02-03-trump-economy-box", "https://graphics.axios.com/2017-02-03-trump-economy/2017-02-03-trump-economy.html", {}); } else if (attempt++ < 40) { setTimeout(init, 50); } }; init(); })();

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

Hurricane Zeta makes landfall on Louisiana coast as Category 2 storm

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Hurricane Zeta is "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi with life-threatening storm surge, high winds, and heavy rain," per the National Hurricane Center.

What's happening: The hurricane was producing maximum sustained winds of nearly 110 mph and stronger gusts after making landfall on the southeastern coast of Louisiana as a Category 2 storm earlier Wednesday.

Supreme Court rejects GOP push to cut absentee ballot deadline in N.C.

Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a request by Republicans to shorten North Carolina's deadline for mail-in ballots from nine to three days.

The big picture: This is the latest of a series of decisions over mail-in ballot deadlines in various states.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control rise in hospitalizations Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" coronavirus wave France imposes lockdown as Macron warns of overwhelming second COVID wave Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed as COVID-19 surges MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.