Tags: wilbur ross | 2nd-quarter | economic growth

Wilbur Ross: 2nd-Quarter Growth Could Push Close to 4 Percent

By    |   Monday, 02 July 2018 12:44 PM

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted that second-quarter economic growth will be “very, very strong, well above 3% and maybe even pushing closer to a 4%.”

Ross told CNBC that “capital expenditures actually have been very, very strong and so has capital repatriation from abroad. And the first three months after the tax bill alone, $300 billion was brought back from overseas capex is very strong employment is very strong.”

Ross also explained to CNBC that “unemployment is so low that we now have more jobs available than there are total unemployed people the first time in history. So we don't see any signs right now of any weakening” in the economy.

“We think the June quarter will be a very, very strong quarter well above 3% and maybe even pushing closer to a 4% annualized number,” Ross told CNBC. “So I think all these claims about the sky is falling are at least premature and probably quite inaccurate,” Ross said.

Ross spoke just before the Atlanta Federal Reserve’s GDPNow forecast model predicted that the U.S. economy is growing at a 4.1 percent annualized rate in the second quarter

The latest estimate on gross domestic product growth was higher than the 3.7 percent pace estimated Friday, the Atlanta Fed said.

Ross also said President Donald Trump doesn’t determine trade policy based on stock-market levels and that the commander-in-chief won’t change his mind on hard-line policies no matter how far the Dow Jones industrial average plunges.

 “The stock market hates uncertainty. In fact, business hates uncertainty. Everybody hates uncertainty. And the worst fear is the fear of the unknown but eventually the arithmetic prevails, facts prevail. And fears either are realized or they go away,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ross said the Commerce Department is collecting public feedback for its investigation into whether to place restrictions on auto-imports over national security.

 Commerce will start preparing its recommendations for Trump after written comments from the public, which are due on July 6, and public hearings that are scheduled for July 19-20 in Washington, Bloomberg reported.

The U.S.’ traditional trading partners and America’s top automakers have warned that imposing tariffs of as much as 25 percent could upend supply chains and cost jobs. The auto-import investigation, announced by the Trump administration in late May, was seen in part aimed at prodding Mexico and Canada into agreeing to the U.S. demands over re-negotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Detroit-based General Motors Co. said on Friday that imposing tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts could lead the company to cut jobs and shrink its presence in its domestic market. Munich-based BMW AG has also warned about the damaging impact of tariffs.

The European Union sent a memo to the Commerce Department last week, saying that the U.S. investigation “lacks legitimacy, factual basis and violates international trade rules” and imposing restrictive measures could negatively impact gross domestic product in the states by as much as $14 billion.

Commerce has 270 days to hand over its report to the president under Section 232 security probes, like the one for steel and aluminum imports and now autos. Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Friday afternoon that he expected the Commerce Department to complete the investigation “in three or four weeks.”

On steel and aluminum tariffs, Ross said that Commerce was inundated with requests for product exclusions by companies “gaming the system” by applying for as many exemptions as possible. Commerce is now processing the requests more quickly than they’re coming in so the backlog should clear up shortly, said Ross.

The tariffs took effect for most nations in late March. Steel and aluminum imports for Canada, the EU and Mexico were added last month, after they failed to reach a deal to secure permanent exemptions and have all since retaliated with billions of dollars of tariffs on U.S. goods, sending ties between the Trump administration and some of America’s major trade partners to new lows.

(Newsmax wire services contributed to this report).

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross predicted that second-quarter economic growth will be “very, very strong, well above 3% and maybe even pushing closer to a 4%.”
wilbur ross, 2nd-quarter, economic growth
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2018-44-02
Monday, 02 July 2018 12:44 PM
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