Watch live: For Trump's State of the Union, the economy has both boom and gloom


With "The Great American Comeback" as the theme of his third State of the Union speech, US President Donald Trump is expected to highlight the strength of the US economy and achievements to support it like a China trade deal and another trade pact with Mexico and Canada.

But there are also some key measurements of the economy Trump may not cite.     

As a candidate in 2016, Trump promised economic growth and job creation. His address to Congress will no doubt focus on some indisputably positive outcomes in these areas.   

The unemployment rate is at a 50-year low, for example, and wages are rising for lower-skilled jobs.

For those heavily invested in the stock market, the bull market's gains have been heady, although they mostly went to a small group of Americans at the top of the economy.

But things are not all rosy. Overall economic growth is sluggish compared to historical averages.

The administration's trade wars unleashed uncertainty and slowed global economies around the world, but they have not put an obvious dent in US trade deficits — something Trump said he would eliminate.

There has been no sign that productivity or business investment are surging, something administration officials pledged would flow from a large corporate tax cut.

What the tax cut did instead was fuel a return to record deficits.

Trump's annual address to a joint session of Congress comes as the Senate's top Republican exhorted fellow senators on Tuesday to acquit the president in his impeachment trial, warning that the fate of the republic depended on it, even as his Democratic counterpart called Trump a threat to democracy.

The partisan rancor in the dueling speeches by Republican Senator Mitch McConnell and Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer underscored the wider polarization in the country over Trump's impeachment on charges arising from his dealings with Ukraine.

Timeline: What's happening in the impeachment trial in the Senate?

McConnell urged the Senate, which is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans and is expected to acquit the president in a vote on Wednesday, to stop what he called the Democrats' abuse of power in impeaching Trump in the House of Representatives.

The House impeached Trump on Dec. 18 on charges of abuse of power for asking Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter and obstruction of Congress for blocking testimony and documents sought in the investigation.

By Howard Schneider/Reuters

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