“Trump Tells Davos ‘America First’ Will Benefit the World.”
President Donald Trump said Friday that U.S. economic growth promoted by his policies would help the world, seeking to square his “America First” agenda with globalism.
“When the United States grows, so does the world,” Trump said in a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. “American prosperity has created countless jobs around the globe and the drive for excellence, creativity and innovation in the United States has led to important discoveries that help people everywhere live more prosperous and healthier lives.”
As he does regularly, Trump claimed credit for the run-up in stocks and economic growth that has occurred in his first year in office. In the last year, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has surged about 25 percent. As Trump spoke, a Commerce Department report showed the U.S. economy expanded at a slower-than-projected pace of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter, dashing hopes for the longest streak of 3 percent-or-better growth since 2005.
The International Monetary Fund this week acknowledged Trump’s recent tax cuts were a reason it had lifted its forecast for U.S. economic growth this year to 2.7 percent. Still, it warned the short-term effect would wear off by 2022 as budget deficits materialized and individual tax cuts expired.
Some Davos participants signaled concern with Trump’s protectionist instincts, which were underscored at the start of the week when his government slapped tariffs on imported solar panels and washing machines. European leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel promoted multilateralism from the Davos stage; neither of them intersected with Trump at the conference.
“U.S. economic growth slows in fourth quarter on surging imports.”
U.S. economic growth unexpectedly slowed in the fourth quarter as the strongest pace of consumer spending in three years resulted in a surge in imports.
Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.6 percent annual rate also restrained by a modest pace of inventory accumulation, the Commerce Department said in its advance fourth-quarter GDP report on Friday. That followed a 3.2 percent growth pace in the third quarter.
Imports, which subtract from GDP growth, increased at their fastest rate in more than seven years. Rising imports underscore the challenges that the Trump administration faces in its quest to boost annual GDP growth to 3 percent.
A measure of domestic demand jumped at a 4.6 percent rate, the quickest since the third quarter of 2014, highlighting the economy’s strength. Final sales to private domestic purchasers rose at a 2.2 percent pace in the third quarter.
Strong domestic demand is part of a synchronized global rebound that includes the euro zone and Asia. Demand has also been buoyed by President Donald Trump’s promise of hefty tax cuts, which was fulfilled in December when the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress approved the largest overhaul of the tax code in 30 years.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the economy growing at a 3.0 percent pace in the final three months of 2017.
The economy grew 2.3 percent in 2017, an acceleration from the 1.5 percent logged in 2016. Economists expect annual GDP growth will hit the government’s 3 percent target this year, spurred in part by a weak dollar, rising oil prices and strengthening global economy.
“China’s eight-year-long smartphone growth comes to an end.”
China’s smartphone market has fallen for the first time, with annual shipments down by 4% in 2017, according to data from research firm Canalys. The decline ends eight years’ growth in the world’s largest mobile phone market.
Smartphone brands Huawei, Oppo and Vivo continue to dominate the Chinese handset market. Despite the overall slowdown of the market, Huawei saw double-digit growth, the Canalys report said.
Between 2010 to 2015, the global smartphone market was mostly a showdown between Apple and Samsung. But over the last two years, smaller Chinese Android smartphone brands have risen, offering faster entry-level phones at much more affordable prices.
While consumers in big Chinese cities like Beijing and Shanghai see the latest iPhone and Galaxy devices as «must-have» handsets, people in rural areas couldn’t afford the hefty price tags and mostly stuck to basic feature phones.
To offer these consumers a premium experience at a lower price, Oppo and Vivo – both owned by reclusive billionaire Duan Yong Ping – chose to eschew online and instead open retail stores on high streets in rural provinces. The approach of offering an Apple-esque in-store customer experience was successful. In 2016, China saw a huge boom in consumers swapping their basic phones for premium smartphones.
According to Counterpoint Research, by August 2017 Huawei had sold almost as many smartphones as Apple. By the end of 2016, it had already dethroned Samsung from the top spot as most profitable Android device brand in the world.
“Trump says Republicans will accept citizenship for ‘Dreamers’.”
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he would be willing to shift his stance on immigration to push through a deal that protects illegal immigrants brought to the country as children from deportation and offer them citizenship.
In an interview with CNBC broadcast on Friday, Trump also said Republican Senators Tom Cotton, John Cornyn and David Perdue and Representative Bob Goodlatte, who have all taken tough stances on immigration, could agree to offer citizenship within 10 to 12 years to so-called “Dreamers.”
“They’ve really shifted a lot, and I think they’re willing to shift more, and so am I,” the Republican president told CNBC in an interview from the World Economic Forum in Davos. “We’re going to see. If we make the right deal, I think they will.”
It was unclear whether Trump’s stated willingness to shift more on immigration would resonate with Democrats, who along with some Republicans, have accused Trump of being an unreliable negotiating partner, too willing to change his stance under pressure from conservatives in his party.
Senior White House officials outlined an immigration plan on Thursday, hours after the Trump interview was taped, that would offer a path to citizenship for up to 1.8 million of the illegal immigrants. The proposal includes measures to curb some legal immigration programs and provide a border wall with Mexico.
Congressional Democrats also oppose the measure. “The president should not be releasing a framework that is a nonstarter like this one,” Representative Steny Hoyer, the No. 2 House Democrat, said on Thursday.