When President Donald Trump predicted that his policies would spur growth of 3 percent or more, a lot of economists didn't take him seriously. They may now.
The latest figures on the economy show that breakout economic growth may not just yet be at hand, but it's certainly within reach. A revision to second-quarter gross domestic product showed a gain of 3 percent, the first period to reach that level since the first quarter of 2015.
In turn, that takes the broader picture to a different level.
"If we achieve sustained 3 percent growth, that means 12 million new jobs and $10 trillion of new economic activity. That's some number," Trump said during a speech Wednesday in Missouri promoting tax reform. "I happen to be one that thinks we can go much higher than 3 percent. There's no reason we shouldn't."
The economy grew at just a 1.5 percent pace during President Barack Obama's two terms that began in 2009 as the Great Recession was ending. His second term in office saw GDP average 2.1 percent a year, but overall Obama presided over the worst recovery since the Great Depression.
Trump's term has begun with gains of 2.1 percent for the first half, but that's likely to accelerate into the second half.
The Atlanta Fed is projecting GDP to jump 3.4 percent in the third quarter, which would put the annual growth average at 2.5 percent heading into the final three months of the year. While fourth-quarter GDP readings have been soft the past three years — 2 percent, 0.5 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively, since 2014 — the year still looks poised to finish above trend.
The upward revision was due to increased consumer spending and business investment, providing yet more ammunition to expectations for better growth. And the GDP revision came the same day that ADP reported private payroll growth of 237,000, the best number since March.