How Trump's economy compares to the economy under other presidents
How Trump's economy compares to the economy under other presidents

How Trump’s economy compares to the economy under other presidents

The American economy

President Donald Trump has inherited a strong economy, and it has continued to grow well during his first three years in office. Then the Covid-19 epidemic changed everything.

At the start of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, the economy was healthy.

Employers added 76 months of extra work, the longest period on record – and unemployment was just 4.7 percent, the lowest level in 10 years. The company’s earnings are at an all-time high, and so are the stocks. Overall, gross domestic product grew at about 2.5 percent a year – the lowest rate for the world’s largest economy. Not everything is exaggerated: Federal debt is at its highest level since the 1950s. But by most measurements, it is difficult to deny: The economy is in a strong spot. And fortunately for Trump, growth has continued since then.

Below, we follow 10 indicators to show how his economy has developed under each president from Ronald Reagan to Trump. Remember, each president started under a different situation. The first year of George W. Bush’s tenure was marred by riots and the September 11 attacks. Barack Obama started with a great recession, after a devastating house and the global financial crisis. Despite these crises, however, most current presidents have presided over economic growth during their time in office. President Trump will be represented by the nation’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak, which is still well known. Health crisis And Economy.

Scroll down the charts to see how the economy under Trump compares to how it developed under the older generation.

By 2020, the first term of President Trump is characterized by strong job growth, but then the epidemic spreads. 15% of American jobs In just two months. Since May, the economy has recovered only about half of those jobs, and Trump is heading to the polls with The worst job loss on record Under any president.

Conversely, at this point in Obama’s presidency, the job market rose 0.4 percent. He took office at a time when employers were cutting hundreds of thousands of jobs a month. Hired into higher gear later in the presidency.

By the time Trump took office, he had inherited the strongest labor market in American history from Obama. But Covid-19 stopped quickly. Th Unemployment rate Shot with 14.7%, Up 10 percent from the time Trump took office. Although it has improved slightly since then, unemployment continued to rise in September. No other president has experienced a sudden increase in unemployment.

Trump often talks about how middle-income incomes have risen during his presidency – and that was true in his first three years. In September, the The Census Bureau released the information Shows that Central American households have incomes $ 68,703 in 2019 – $ 5,800 or 9% increase from 2016, after adjusting for inflation. Strong job market Help raise income, Because people work full time, all year round. And more The 20 states also raised their roles Minimum wage, increase the income of low-income workers.

We do not yet have data for 2020, but the dengue epidemic will affect that figure in a big way. For some families, the $ 1,200 stimulus check and the $ 600 temporary unemployment benefit allowance actually raised income during the outbreak. But many, especially those who have lost their businesses or are looking for long-term unemployment, are struggling to make ends meet.

The longest bull market in history began shortly after Obama took office and continued as Trump’s presidency. Investors hailed Trump’s corporate tax cuts in 2017, and although the trade war with China kept them in the limelight, stocks were steadily recording until 2020. S&P 500 Decreased by 34% in about a month, before recovering later in the summer. As of Oct. 27, the index had risen 49 percent to Trump’s overall presidency. While that rapid return is a bright spot for him, it is in stark contrast to the 76% increase under Obama and the 64% increase under Clinton at the same point in their presidency.

The housing market is one of the few segments of the economy that did not shrink significantly during the outbreak. That is partly because Record low interest rates And the trend of working from home has led urban dwellers to buy houses in the suburbs and rural areas, increasing House prices In many regions. It is because of a wide range of measures, including a Stop the eviction And Loan Withdrawal Program, Has helped families experiencing hardships from the crisis to the present. Those unpaid bills could eventually catch millions of families, putting the housing market in shambles. But so far, house prices have risen 21 percent since Trump’s inauguration.

Food pricesSlight increase

If it feels like your selling price is going up, it is because of the food price Done Pain Suddenly during an outbreak. In the relatively long term, they are relatively stable. At the same point among President Reagan, George HW Bush, Clinton and George W. Bush, food prices have risen by more than 9%. They are up just 6.1% under Trump, and up 5.9% under Obama, which reflects The era of low inflation.

Consumer spendingUp, but underperforming

American consumers are the backbone of the U.S. economy and rarely surprise. Even consumers clearly Reduce costs At the onset of the epidemic, they reopened their wallets in May and June when inspections and unemployment benefits came to their aid. Retail spending on goods, especially through online retailers, Recover quickly. (Meanwhile, spending on services such as haircuts, travel And Dine at the restaurant Covid-19 remains below pre-standard levels.) Despite a rapid recovery, however, consumer spending has outpaced Trump under the previous five presidents.

Production workRarely changed

American manufacturing works Peaked in 1979And no president other than Clinton has chaired the plant’s inauguration since. So when Trump promised to bring back factory work, it was order. In Trump’s first three years, the manufacturing sector added some jobs, but by 2020, epidemics had devastated many of the jobs that these workers enjoyed. As of September, that figure was down 164,000 seats, or 1.3 percent from when Trump took office. That said, strikes at factories under President Reagan, Obama and Bushes have intensified as globalization and technological advances have reduced US production capacity.

The federal debt burden has not been as high as the economy since. World War IIBut it did not go there during Trump’s presidency alone. Debt has risen under Reagan, who slammed tax cuts, and it has risen under Obama, who used federal stimulus funds to help the economy during a recession.

At the time of Trump’s inauguration, total debt was about 76% of GDP. But by mid-2020, s. It is 105% The score increased by 29 percent during his presidency. Economists often argue about buying when the economy is strong, and spending more when the economy is weak. But despite his promise to “crack down,” Trump has grown in both good times and bad. While most of the increase came from coronavirus relief funds, pre-emptive policies such as corporate tax cuts and increased defense spending led to an increase as well.

Gross domestic productDeep recession which

Comprehensive measures of economic activity – Gross domestic product – Measure the value of goods and services produced locally. It typically grows between 2% and 3% per year after adjusting to inflation. Trump’s first three years Is within that rangeBut 2020 sees a profound decline. We don’t have a full year of data yet, though The second quarter was the worst record Back to 1947. Data in the third quarter is Due on Thursday, And is expected to show some improvement – but not a full recovery.

A lot Economist Businesses and workers are not expected to recover from this dire economic situation For years.

Additional development by Byron Manley


The gross domestic product (GDP) line is calculated as a percentage change from the fourth quarter before the inauguration of each presidential candidate, which is the latest data before they take office. The median income line is calculated as a percentage change from the last calendar year before each presidential election. The line shows that the federal unemployment and debt rates are calculated as a percentage change, because the two dimensions start out as proportional. All other lines are calculated as a percentage change from January, when each president takes office. President Reagan did not have information on house prices because that information was only available from 1987 and did not include all of his presidents.