"By nearly every standard measure, the American economy is doing well — and better than it was a year and a half ago, before Donald Trump was elected president. If only the debate over who deserves most of the credit were as easily judged.
Americans’ perceptions of the economy’s prospects increasingly depend more on their political identity than statistics on output or stock markets. So each new economic report — whether the latest monthly jobs figures or the quarterly growth estimate — reignites the feud between Trump supporters and critics.
The same gauges that illustrate this administration’s economic successes also make clear that they are built on the achievements of the previous one, and that the economy is following the upward trajectory begun under President Barack Obama.
In the 18 months before Mr. Trump moved into the White House, 3.7 million jobs were created, seven in 10 Americans said they were doing fine or living comfortably and the economy grew. In the 18 months since, 3.4 million jobs were created, seven in 10 Americans said they were doing fine or living comfortably and the economy grew. Stubbornly slow wage growth and wide income gaps have spanned both periods.Economists are quick to point out that presidents of both parties are assigned more credit or blame than they deserve for the economy, a colossus whose course is fashioned, bit by bit, from innumerable decisions made every day by investors, consumers, managers and merchants around the globe…"