WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump touted the continued growth of the U.S. economy on Sunday, saying it is "better than it has been in many decades."
"Businesses are coming back to America like never before," Trump said in a Twitter remark, a likely theme of his State of the Union address on Tuesday. "Unemployment is nearing record lows. We are on the right track!"
He said, "Chrysler, as an example, is leaving Mexico and coming back to the USA," an exaggeration of Chrysler's expansion plans. Fiat Chrysler, the world's eighth biggest auto manufacturer, says it is investing $1 billion to manufacture its profitable Ram pickup trucks in the midwestern state of Michigan, shifting the production from Mexico, but at the same time is not cutting any of its vehicle manufacturing jobs in Mexico.
The U.S. jobless rate has held steady at 4.1 percent for the last three months, the lowest figure in 17 years. The U.S. economy, the world's largest, advanced at a 2.3 percent pace last year, Trump's first year in office, up from 1.5 percent in 2016.
The U.S. economy, however, slowed in the last three months of 2017, expanding at a 2.6 percent annual rate, down from the 3.2 percent figure in the July-to-September period.
Attack on Jay-Z
In praising the U.S. economic performance, Trump also attacked Jay-Z, after the rap musician had assailed Trump in a Saturday news talk show over the president's recent reported vulgar descriptions of people from Haiti and Africa as he seeks to block their immigration to the United States.
"Somebody please inform Jay-Z that because of my policies, Black Unemployment has just been reported to be at the LOWEST RATE EVER RECORDED!" Trump said. The black unemployment rate in the U.S. has fallen to 6.8 percent, which is still higher than the 3.7 percent figure for whites.
Jay-Z told CNN interviewer Van Jones that economic advances for blacks do not outweigh Trump's attacks on predominantly black countries.
"Everyone feels anger, but after the anger, it's really hurtful because he's looking down on a whole population of people. And he's so misinformed because these places have beautiful people," Jay-Z said, adding, "It's not about money at the end of the day. Money doesn't equate to happiness. It doesn't. That's missing the whole point.
"You treat people like human beings," he said.
Source: Voice of America