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Trump's claims about US economy ‘public relations propaganda’: Analyst

Abayomi Azikiwe

The optimistic statements by US President Donald Trump’s administration about the country’s economy are "a public relations propaganda,” says a journalist in Detroit.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Monday said he did not see the threat of a recession as the Trump administration seeks to revive trade negotiations with China, adding that he expected a positive year ahead for the US economy.

Speaking on Fox Business Network, Mnuchin said US officials still aimed to “get a good deal” with Beijing as talks between the world’s two largest economies prepare to get under way in the coming weeks.

He was the latest US official to paint a rosy picture of the US economy, despite recent warnings by economists about an impending downturn.

No one should take Mnuchin’s statements at face value “because it is his job to build up confidence, even if it’s a false confidence, it’s his job to make it appear as if the US is unfazed by the imposition of tariffs,” said Abayomi Azikiwe, editor at the Pan-African News Wire.

“I believe this is just a public relations propaganda; various sectors in the US economy are experiencing a significant downturn,” Azikiwe said in a phone interview with Press TV on Tuesday.

“All these issues are impacting consumers in the United States and working people in the United States, as well as businesses inside the country,” he added.

The US economy grew more slowly in the spring, and many economists think the slowdown will continue and perhaps complicate Trump’s hopes that a surging economy enhances his 2020 re-election hopes.

The gross domestic product, the broadest gauge of economic health, advanced at a moderate 2% annual rate in the April-June quarter, down from a 3.1% gain in the first quarter, the government said in late August.

A new opinion poll shows that Trump’s approval rating has dropped by six points as Americans voice concerns about their country’s economy.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll, published on Tuesday, found that Trump’s job approval rating fell to 38 percent after July’s 44 percent approval.

According to the poll, Trump has slipped by 5 percentage points, specifically on his handling of the economy, from 51 percent approval in midsummer to 46 percent now.

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