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July 31, 1998

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Open and fair trade. A balanced budget. Better education and higher skills. The strategy that has boosted the American economy during the past five and a half years will boost it further as we move boldly into the new century. I will continue to do everything in my power -- as must the Congress -- to strengthen an economy that offers opportunity, a society rooted in responsibility, and a nation that lives as a community.

President Bill Clinton
July 31, 1998

America's Economy Continues To Grow Steadily. Today, President Clinton announces Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers for the second quarter of 1998. These figures show that while GDP growth moderated to a 1.4 percent annual rate in the second quarter, economic growth so far this year has averaged 3.5 percent. The American economy is solid and strong: unemployment is at a 28-year low, core inflation is at a 32-year low, consumer confidence is near its 30-year high, and new home sales are at their highest level on record.

A Solid Record Of Achievement. Under President Clinton's leadership, our economy is the strongest it has been in a generation. Today's figures build on this record of economic stability and prosperity, including:

  • 3.3 Percent Growth Under President Clinton. Today, the Commerce Department revised up their GDP estimates for 1995 through 1997. This means that since President Clinton took office, growth has averaged 3.3 percent per year, stronger than the Reagan Administration (3 percent) or the Bush Administration (1.3 percent);
  • The First Investment-Led Expansion In Three Decades. In the second quarter, investment in business equipment rose 17.8 percent at an annual rate. Since President Clinton took office, business investment has grown faster -- 12.8 percent per year -- than at any point since President Kennedy's Administration;
  • 3.9 Percent Private-Sector Growth Since President Clinton Took Office. Since President Clinton took office, the private sector of the economy has grown by 3.9 percent per year, better than under either President Reagan or Bush;
  • The Lowest Inflation Rate Since 1961. In the second quarter, the GDP price index rose 0.8 percent at an annual rate. Over the past year, inflation rose just 1 percent, the smallest increase in 37 years.

President Clinton's Three-Part Economic Strategy Is Working. Today's economic figures show that now is the time to continue with President Clinton's economic strategy of:

  • Maintaining Fiscal Discipline. Five years ago this week, Congress passed, without a single Republican vote, the President's 1993 Economic plan, which cut the deficit, helping to lower interest rates, raise business investment, and create a cycle of economic activity that has helped America turn a $290 billion deficit in 1992 to the first budget surplus in 30 years. Now, we must save every penny of that surplus until Social Security is reformed;
  • Investing In The American People. For nearly six years, the President has worked to expand educational opportunity because economic and job training are vital to a strong economy. For example, in 1995, the President put forward a comprehensive proposal to modernize the job training system -- a G.I. Bill for America's Workers. With bipartisan support, Congress is now poised to pass this bill and the President looks forward to signing it into law;
  • Opening Markets Abroad. More than one-quarter of America's economic growth during the past five years has come from increased exports. Today's economic report shows that the health of the Asian economy affects the health of America's economy. The IMF is designed to help those economies take important steps toward reform and stabilize them. A commitment to the IMF is an investment in the American economy -- that is why Congress should fully fund the President's request for the IMF.

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