The economy is doing just fine.
That’s the takeaway from the Federal Reserve’s first full-year update since Donald Trump took office.
It shows the economy expanded at an annualized rate of 2.6% in February, far above the 1.9% growth rate recorded during the worst of the Great Recession.
Economists had expected growth to slow slightly to 1.8% in March and 2.0% in April.
“The Fed’s February report is in line with what we expected based on what we’ve seen since the beginning of the year,” said Daniel Green, chief U.N. economist at Wells Fargo.
“What is encouraging is that the labor market continues to grow and that we are not seeing inflation pick up at the pace that we have seen in recent months.”
March was also a busy month, with the number of workers added to the labor force reaching a record high of 65 million, according to the Labor Department.
That puts the economy close to the 150 million threshold needed for the Fed to begin raising interest rates.
Economies have been trying to reach full employment for years, but they haven’t been able to do it without some kind of stimulus.
So the Fed is optimistic that if it can find the right mix of monetary policy, a combination of cheap money and more infrastructure spending, the economy will be able to return to full employment.
That would mean fewer people working, fewer people buying homes, and less money coming into the economy to support it.
It was the third consecutive month of growth in February.
The U.K. and Germany are also doing better than expected, with March growth at a 2.4% rate, the best month on record.
March’s growth was the fastest since the fourth quarter of 2017.
The job market is improving, too.
The Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell to 7.4%, the lowest level since January 2018.
The economy has also started to shed workers.
The number of people working part time fell by about 6.7 million in March, the first drop since April 2016, according for March.
Economist Scott Winship of Capital Economics said there was a small uptick in payrolls in March because of seasonal factors.
That could boost employment.
The unemployment rate rose to 6.4%.
Still, the unemployment number has been rising at a faster rate than overall employment.
The jobs report is another sign that Trump has been successful in making the economy more productive.
The president has said that his goal is to boost growth by 1% a year for the next three years, or 4.5% a month.
But he has yet to produce the results.
Trump’s policies have been a hit in other sectors of the economy, too, including manufacturing, which has gained jobs.
On Friday, the manufacturing index rose 0.7% to 54.1.
Manufacturing is a key driver of the U.W. economy, which is the biggest driver of GDP growth.