Expand chart
Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

President Trump got his triumphant 4% economic growth moment today, and he threw together a surprise speech to celebrate on the White House's south lawn.

The big picture: This is the best quarterly growth since 2014. Trump claims we're on track for 3% this year, and previously promised rates that are even higher (and rather unlikely). Former president Barack Obama enjoyed four quarters of 4%, but his highest year topped out at 2.9%.

The good from the report:

  • Americans are saving more than we thought: "The data show the average savings rate at [7%] between 2013 and 2017, up from the previous figure of [5%]." — FT's Kadhim Shubber
  • Consumer spending is up: "Larger paychecks, pushed up in part by tax cuts and the tightening labor market that’s forcing employers to offer heftier pay, are encouraging spending." — WSJ

And the not-so-good:

  • "One-time factors": Several areas of major growth in the report were in soybeans, with farmers rushing to sell before tariffs, and oil and gas investment, which is dependent on unstable prices. — AP's Christopher Rugaber
  • Rising borrowing costs because of Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes.

Reality checks... MarketWatch's Steve Goldstein rated multiple Trump claims today. Three of note:

  1. True, if the economy doesn't stumble in Q4: “We are now on track to hit an average annual GDP of over 3%..."
  2. Possibly, but not a lock: “We are on track to hit the highest annual average growth rate in over 13 years.”
  3. Unlikely: “I will say this right now, and I will say this strongly, as the trade deals come in one by one, we’re going to go a lot higher than these numbers."

The bottom line: "The economy’s annualized growth of 4.1% in the second quarter is unlikely to be repeated soon," the WSJ's Greg Ip notes.

  • "Yet the underlying details are still impressive, pointing to an economic expansion that has picked up vigor and still has plenty of room to run."

Go deeper: Why stocks went down when the GDP went up

Go deeper

Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill on Wednesday July 24, 2019. Photo: The Washington Post / Contributor

Former special counsel Robert Mueller responded to claims from President Trump and his allies that Roger Stone was a "victim" in the Justice Department's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, writing in a Washington Post op-ed published Saturday: "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so."

Why it matters: The rare public comments by Mueller come on the heels of President Trump's move to commute the sentence of his longtime associate, who was sentenced in February to 40 months in prison for crimes stemming from the Russia investigation. The controversial decision brought an abrupt end to the possibility of Stone spending time behind bars.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 12,607,510 — Total deaths: 562,338 — Total recoveries — 6,948,863Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 5:30 p.m. ET: 3,228,884 — Total deaths: 134,600 — Total recoveries: 983,185 — Total tested: 38,919,421Map.
  3. Public health: Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter: "Please wear a mask to save lives" Fauci hasn't briefed Trump on the coronavirus pandemic in at least two months — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  4. Food: How the coronavirus pandemic boosted alternative meat.
  5. Sports: Charge of "money grab" by college football.
  6. World: India reimposes lockdowns as coronavirus cases soar.