US economy grew at robust 4.2 percent rate in Q2

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter. This is the best performance in nearly four years. The performance of the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, was unchanged from an estimate the Commerce Department made last month, the government reported Thursday. The strong GDP performance has been cited by Trump as proof that his economic program is working. “We’re doing much better than anybody thought possible,” Trump said at a Wednesday news conference. READ MORE HERE

House Republicans pass part of ‘Tax Cuts 2.0’

Republicans in the House of Representatives passed the first two bills in a larger package as a follow up to last year’s tax plan. The package, dubbed “Tax Cuts 2.0,” isn’t expected to become law this year, but is meant to advance ideas on several topics that either weren’t addressed or were only temporary in the tax reform law passed last year. READ MORE HERE

Graves Shepherds Passage of FAA Bill

  Today, the U.S. House of Representatives, passed a long-term Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization. Congressman Sam Graves, (MO06), released the following statement: “As a professional pilot and user of the system, I can say with certainty that today’s passage will give the aviation community long-term stability – a much needed development after years of short-term extensions.  Moreover, we are ensuring that all who rely on our airspace can continue flying safely, securely and freely. America has always been a leader and pioneer in aviation since the days of the Wright Brothers and passage of this bill ensures that continues.” Authorizes a $1 billion per year grant program for airports which will result in an additional $5 billion grant opportunities for airports over five-years, clarifies FAA policy on receiving payment for living history flights, allows for more widespread testing of replacement fuels for lead based aviation fuel, requires FAA to restore the ‘all makes and models’ certificate for pilots of

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U.S. consumer confidence hits 18-year high

U.S. consumer confidence is at an 18-year high. This points to sustained strength in the economy despite increasingly bitter trade tensions. Other data showed a moderation in house price increases in July, the gains probably remain sufficient to boost household wealth and continue to support consumer spending, as well as making home purchasing a bit more affordable for first-time buyers. “The consumer is always in the driver’s seat when it comes to stoking the fires that run the engines of economic growth, but the million dollar question is what is going to happen down the road when the trade tariffs start to bite?” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. READ MORE HERE

U.S. trade chief says China policy change ‘not going to be easy’

President Trump’s top trade official said changing China’s economic policies to be more beneficial to the free market “is not going to be easy” even with the tariffs in place. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said “endless dialogues” with the Chinese government over decades had “failed miserably” in changing Beijing’s policies. READ MORE HERE

China Willing To Resume Trade Talks

China has indicated a willingness to continue trade talks with the United States. Beijing said it was willing to restart trade negotiations with the United States if the talks are “based on mutual respect and equality,” Xinhua said, citing a white paper on the dispute published by China’s State Council. READ MORE HERE

Fed likely to hike rates to a range between 2% and 2.25%

A large number of economists believe an interest rate hike is likely. “For now, the FOMC appears comfortable with quarterly rate hikes,” Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays, was quoted as saying in MarketWatch. core inflation just about at the Fed’s 2% target. The Fed is expected to hike the benchmark short-term fed funds rate by a quarter-percentage point to a range between 2% and 2.25%. That’s the highest level since April 2008. READ MORE HER