An enormous tax cut and continued spending growth added rocket fuel to a slow recovery that started in 2010 in the wake of the financial crisis. At the same time, an array of tariffs has upended supply chains and raised prices, throwing businesses into a fog of uncertainty.
A year ago, Trump could still lay blame for the condition of the economy on his predecessor.
"Net-net we are doing slightly better, especially in the short run, because the fiscal stimulus is likely to have a higher upside weight than the negative ones, which tend to be longer longing and more prolonged, "says Greg Daco, chief economist at Oxford Economics. "The economy has really eaten its cake, and it does not have much left on the table."
Here are the major ways the Trump administration has impacted the economy so far.
Tax cuts and rising deficits
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 dumped billions of dollars into the US economy, and even more came from Trump's first budget, which was beefed up to the Department of Defense and cut little else.
"Over the course of 2018, most major economies around the word began to slow down, and the US did not," notes Courtney Rickert McCaffrey, with the management consulting firm AT Kearney.
That additional stimulus helped the job market to be tightened to the point where workers who had previously been overlooked, including people of color, veterans, the disabled, and the long-term unemployed, came into the labor force and posted their lowest unemployment rates in decades.
"From what I've seen, I do not think this is a long-term productive investment in US economy's ability to grow in a sustainable way," McCaffrey says.
A crisis in international trade
Trump's trade policy has been an emotional rollercoaster for businesses that depend on either imported components or overseas markets.
The tariffs have one beneficiary: Steel producers who have been steadily hiring people and adding capacity since Trump took office. But anyone who uses steel and aluminum – or produces any of the thousands of goods that have been the subject of retaliatory tariffs from China, Canada and the European Union – has suffered.
"Whatever benefit they have experienced from the tax cut, the tariffs have upset that," says Vistage research director Joe Galvin. "The challenge they face is how do I pass that cost along? This is a direct profit hit. It comes right out of margins."
Taking a hatchet to regulations
However, the widely-publicized rollbacks of Obama-era rules like small rivers and streams and other increasing emission standards for passenger cars and light trucks may have fueled some of the exuberance of mid-2018, as evidenced by the National All-Time High Optimism index reading in August.
"I do not know it's a substantial effect as much as there's a belief that it's had a positive effect," says Galvin, of Vistage.
Rolling up America's welcome mat
Sometimes you do not have to have an official economic policy to have an economic effect – all you need is tweets.
Trump's rhetoric and crackdown on immigrants and visitors – beginning with the early, chaotic roll-out of a travel ban on visitors from some Muslim-majority nations – has deterred foreign visitors and international students who have been coming to US 'tourist attractions and universities in lower numbers over the past year.
And it may be taking a toll on America's attractiveness to foreign scientists and engineers, who are choosing employers in Canada over those in the US
"Restrictions and delays in visa and passport applications have weighed down on immigration," says Daco, of Oxford Economics. "From an economic perspective immigration is a positive one, so reducing immigration has weighed down on the economy."