“Mine is the greatest economy?” No Don, it's the sixth out of the last ten

Slate @Slate It turns out that the economy never had a Trump bump. slate.trib.al/nldCPM4

Trump’s economy is only the sixth best of the last ten presidents, and Trump has squandered the growth created in the previous administration as he has never achieved his promised annual growth, manufacturing is in recession, and the deficit is massive. 

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By the numbers: Last year the economy grew at 2.3%, after year-over-year accelerations in 2017 and 2018 — marking the slowest annual growth rate since Trump took office. Growth under Trump has yet to hit his oft-promised 3% mark annually.

  • Economists say the effects of the tax are wearing off. Businesses were too unnerved by the trade war to spend money on new factories or equipment — a key driver of growth.

Yes, but: If history is any guide, an incumbent president isn't going to have a great shot at re-election if the economy tips into a recession under their watch.

  • Under George H.W. Bush, the economy grew around 2% throughout his presidency, reflecting a return to growth after a recession and spiking unemployment that contributed to his election loss.

What to watch: Wall Street downgraded growth expectations in the first half of 2020, even as tensions over the trade war ebbed.

  • There are big unknowns, like how hard the coronavirus and the Boeing 737 MAX production halt will hit the economy, if at all.
  • Meanwhile, the resilient consumer may be losing momentum, government data showed Friday — a troubling sign, considering that spending accounts for two-thirds of economic activity.
  • But economic growth could bounce back right as voters head to the polls — and that could help Trump right when he needs it.

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Slate@SlateIt turns out that the economy never had a Trump bump. slate.trib.al/nldCPM4

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