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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

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Go deeper

Updated 7 mins ago - World

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Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

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Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

4 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

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Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."