4 Nov 2018                     home

Facts and Economic Growth

Check out any econ growth chart on Google (growth that takes inflation into account) and you will see that under every president the economy grew. It grew on average 3.7% per year under President Clinton. Then it grew on average 1.7% per year under Bush. President Obama inherited recession and during his first year (2009) the economy shrank 2.5%, but during his eight years in office the average annual growth rate was 2.1%.

During the Trump administration the economy, of course, continued to grow. In 2017 it grew 2.7% — nothing spectacular.

On November 2, 2018 it was written in the Chicago Tribune:

Growth has been good, with gross domestic product rising at a [annual] rate of 4.2 percent in the second quarter of this year and 3.5 percent in the third. But the euphoria being felt by Republicans was absent when GDP growth exceeded 4.2 percent in four different quarters under Barack Obama. The trick is to sustain such high rates, which Obama couldn’t and which Trump has yet to prove he can.

We can be pleased with the latest growth figures (an employment figures) but not be simpleminded about what it means. Republicans, of course, are saying nothing about the social and economic irrationalities that anti-Trump economists have been writing about, scholarly people like Paul Krugman and Robert Reich.

The economy grows even during presidential incompetence, but the question is always what makes sense regarding improvement from where we are now.

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Copyright © 2018 by Frank E. Smitha. All rights reserved.