President Trump touted the second-quarter rebound in economic growth Tuesday and reiterated his pledge to drive U.S. economic growth above 3 percent.
"That's so much higher than anticipated," Trump said of the 2.6 percent annual growth rate in the gross domestic product for the April-June quarter. That figure, released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis last week, was right in line with forecasters' expectations.
"Remember I was saying we're going to try and hit 3 percent some time over the next period? Well, 2.6 is getting closer ... closer than we thought, and a lot faster than we thought," Trump said at a meeting with small business leaders at the White House. "But don't worry about the three, we're going to be higher than three in the not-too-distant future."
Economists at the Federal Reserve, however, expect economic growth to slow toward 2 percent in the months ahead. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York last week projected that the growth rate for the third quarter would come in below 2 percent.
Trump has consistently promised to accelerate U.S. economic growth through tax reform, regulatory reform, and renegotiated trade deals.
His budget proposal, released in May, saw economic growth rising to 3 percent late in his term, as his policies took effect.
While the U.S. economy has often hit 3 percent economic growth, adjusted for inflation, economists say the mark is harder to hit now amid slowing population growth and recent weak productivity.