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May 27, 1999

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“For six and a half years now, I have worked hard to build an economy that gives all of our people a chance to prosper and to live out their dreams. The results are plain -- over 18 million new jobs, the lowest unemployment and inflation in three decades, the strongest economy in a generation, perhaps ever, ushered in by new technologies, the productive energies of the American people, and sensible policies.”

President Bill Clinton
May 12, 1999

Today, the Commerce Department announced that the revised GDP growth in the first quarter was a strong 4.1 percent (at an annual rate). With the continuing economic expansion, the lowest unemployment rate in 29 years, the lowest core inflation rate in over 30 years, and the highest homeownership rate in history, it is clear that President Clinton's three-part economic strategy of fiscal discipline, investments in people, and opening markets abroad is working for America.

America's Economy Continues to Grow Steady and Strong. Commerce Department statistics released today show continuing economic growth:

  • Strong 4.1% Economic Growth In First Quarter. GDP growth in the first quarter remains a strong 4.1% (at an annual rate). Since President Clinton took office, growth has averaged 3.4% per year -- relative to 1.3% per year under President Bush and 2.4% per year during the Reagan-Bush years.
  • 4% Private-Sector Growth Under President Clinton. In the first quarter, private-sector GDP growth was up 4%. Since President Clinton took office, the private sector of the economy has grown an average of 4% per year -- compared to 3% under President Reagan and 1.3% under President Bush.
  • First Investment-Led Expansion In Three Decades. In the first quarter, productive business investment grew a healthy 9.7%. Last year, productive business investment grew at a double-digit pace (16.6%) -- that's 6 consecutive years of double-digit business investment growth for the first time on record. And since President Clinton has taken office, business investment has been faster -- 12.3% per year -- than under any other president since Kennedy.
  • Inflation -- Lowest Since 1959. In the first quarter, the GDP price index rose 1.5% at an annual rate. Last year, inflation rose just 1% -- the smallest increase in 40 years.

President Clinton's Three-part Economic Strategy Is Working. The combination of strong growth, high investment, low inflation, and low unemployment provide more evidence that we should stick with the economic strategy that has helped usher in a new era of prosperity for Americans. The President's three-part economic strategy includes:

  1. Maintaining Fiscal Discipline. In 1992, the budget deficit was $290 billion -- the largest dollar deficit on record. Last year, the budget surplus was nearly $70 billion -- the largest dollar surplus on record.
  2. Investing in the American People. For six years, the President has worked to expand education and job training, vital to a strong economy. The President recently signed legislation allowing states to enhance accountability, reform schools, and improve student achievement. He also called on Congress to finish the job of hiring 100,000 well-prepared teachers to reduce class size, and provide funding to build or modernize 6,000 public schools.
  3. Opening Markets Abroad and Leading The Global Economy. Today's economic report shows that the health of the world economies affects the health of America's economy. The President has worked with Congress for tough reforms to make the IMF more accountable, more focused on growth, and better equipped to address the challenges of the 21st century. The President remains committed to expanding foreign markets for American goods and services and enforcing trade laws to ensure that all countries play by the rules.

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