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July 10, 1998

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Our strong economy is the product of the hard work, creativity, and the innovative spirit of the American people. It is also the fruit of the comprehensive economic strategy we put in place in 1993 -- an economic strategy for the Information Age.

-- President Bill Clinton

Today, the Department of Labor released figures showing the Producer Price Index (PPI) for finished goods fell 0.1 percent in June. In addition, excluding increases in prescription drugs and tobacco, the PPI indicates stable prices for domestically produced commodities. Today's report is more evidence that as the economy remains strong, inflation remains low and stable.

The Strongest Economy In A Generation. Today's numbers are more evidence that President Clinton's three-part economic strategy -- cutting the deficit, investing in our people, and opening new markets to American goods and services -- is working for America's families. Since 1993 it has helped bring about:

  • Over 16 Million New Jobs. Since President Clinton took office, the economy has added over 16 million new jobs -- with more than two million new jobs in manufacturing and construction combined. Over 93 percent of new jobs generated during the Clinton Administration have been in the private sector, the highest percentage since the 1920's.
  • The Lowest Unemployment Level In Nearly Thirty Years. In 1992, the unemployment rate was 7.5 percent. Today, the unemployment rate stands at 4.5%. For the first time in 28 years, the unemployment rate has been below 5 percent for 12 months in a row.
  • An Increase In Family Income Of Nearly $2,200. Real wages are rising at their fastest pace in 25 years and a typical family's income is up nearly $2,200 since 1993, when adjusted for inflation;
  • Turning The Corner In Basic American Industries. Since 1993, the economy has added 1.4 million new jobs in construction, 159,000 new jobs in the automobile industry, and 702,000 new manufacturing jobs.
  • The Highest Home Ownership Rate In History and more than 6 million new homeowners since the President took office.
  • Opportunity For More Americans To Share In The Benefits Of The New Economy. Under President Clinton, the African-American unemployment rate has fallen from 14.1 percent to 8.2 percent -- its lowest level on record (data was first collected in 1972), and the Hispanic unemployment rate has dropped from 11.3 percent to 7.6 percent -- one of its lowest levels on record. But much work remains, since these unemployment rates are above the national average.

The Balanced Budget: Building On Success. The President's agenda builds on this record. His plan calls for projected budget surpluses to be reserved pending Social Security reform, but provides targeted tax relief for child care, education, and the environment -- all fully paid for. These targeted tax relief efforts would:

  • Make child care more affordable, increasing the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit for 3 million working families;
  • Increase energy efficiency and improve the environment, investing $3.6 billion over the next 5 years in tax cuts for energy efficient purchases and renewable energy;
  • Promote expanded retirement savings, making contributions of up to $2,000 to an IRA through a payroll deduction excluded from the employee's income for tax purposes;
  • Expand education incentives, helping modernize and build over 5,000 public schools;
  • Help develop more affordable housing, expanding the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by 40 percent, helping lead to an additional 150,000 to 180,000 units of affordable housing over five years.

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