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Office of the President

For Immediate Release October 30,1998
                       UNDER PRESIDENT CLINTON:                         
                           October 30, 1998                          

America's Economy Continues To Grow Steady and Strong. In the third quarter, GDP growth was a strong 3.3 percent (at an annual rate). The evidence is clear: America's economy remains solid, with unemployment at a 28-year low, core inflation at a 32-year low, and the national homeownership rate the highest in our history.

Strong 3.3 Percent Economic Growth In Third Quarter. GDP growth in the third quarter was a strong 3.3 percent (at an annual rate). Since President Clinton took office, growth has averaged 3.3 percent per year -- relative to 1.3 percent per year under President Bush and 2.4 percent per year during the Reagan-Bush years.

Nearly 4 Percent Private-Sector Growth Under President Clinton. Since President Clinton took office, the private sector of the economy has grown an average of 3.9 percent per year -- compared to 3.0 percent under President Reagan and 1.3 percent under President Bush.

First Investment-Led Expansion In Three Decades. While investment in business equipment rose only slightly last quarter, it is up 13.3 percent over the past year. And since President Clinton has taken office, business investment has increased faster -- 12.2 percent per year -- than under any President since Kennedy.

Inflation -- Lowest Since 1961. In the third quarter, the GDP price index rose 0.8 percent at an annual rate. Over the past year, inflation rose just 0.9 percent -- the smallest increase in 37 years.

President Clinton's Three-Part Economic Growth Strategy Is Working. Today's numbers show that we should continue with President Clinton's growth strategy:

  1. Maintaining Fiscal Discipline. Nearly six years ago, President Clinton put in place an economic plan that cut the deficit, helping to lower interest rates, raise business investment, and create a virtuous cycle of economic activity that helped move America from a deficit of $290 billion in 1992 to the first budget surplus in 30 years. Earlier this week, President Clinton announced that the budget surplus for last year was $70 billion. Now, we must reserve every penny of any surplus until Social Security is reformed.
  2. Investing in the American People. For six years, the President has worked to expand educational opportunity because education and job training are vital to a strong economy. Earlier this month, the President forced Republicans in Congress to adopt a budget that made a strong down payment on hiring 100,000 new, high-quality teachers to reduce class sizes, expanded after-school programs, invested in child literacy and college mentoring for middle-school students, and expanded investments in education technology, Head Start, and Charter Schools.
  3. Opening Markets Abroad and Leading The Global Economy. More than one-quarter of America's economic growth during the past five and a half years has come from increased exports. Today's economic report shows that the health of the world economies affect the health of America's economy. That's why the President has worked with Congress to meet our commitment to the IMF, with a package of tough reforms to make the IMF more accountable, more focused on growth, and better equipped to address the economic crisis of the 21st century. Now the IMF is stronger and ready to act. We must make certain that when it acts, it acts to promote global growth and to limit the reach of the financial crisis. In turn, this will foster a stronger economy here at home and help our own workers, farmers, and ranchers.