- President Donald campaigned on a promise of delivering GDP growth rates that would be two-to-three times better than his predecessor.
- This is a promise that has proven hard to keep.
- A recovery from the coronavirus-induced contraction could deliver 4% GDP growth. But it could be too little, too late.
As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump promised “tremendous GDP” growth that would far exceed the anemic rates experienced under Barack Obama.
Then, candidate Trump told Fox News in October 2015:
We will have in my opinion a minimum 4% growth. And I think we could even have a 6% growth.
Trump additionally dismissed a rival in the Republican primaries for setting a 4% growth rate when “we think it could be 5 or even 6” percent.
Nearing the end of his first term, Trump’s target growth rate has not materialized on a full-year basis. The closest the target has come to being achieved was in 2018 when the full-year growth rate recorded was 2.8%.
On a quarterly basis, the fourth quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018 registered the best performance. In both cases, the GDP growth rate was 3.5%.
Trump’s GDP dreams – too little too late?
Trump could still have something to brag about though.
According to Goldman Sachs, a 4% economic growth rate could be recorded this year, albeit in one quarter.
Problem is, it might be too late.
According to Goldman, the U.S. economy will rebound starting in the third quarter after taking a hit from the coronavirus pandemic. By Q4, the economy could hit Trump’s targeted 4% annual growth rate.
For a president who has largely banked his reelection prospects on a strong economy, that will be coming too late. By the time the actual figures are released, the election will be over.
U.S. Economy will take a beating in the meantime
Worse for Trump, the beating the economy will take from the coronavirus pandemic will be fresh in the minds of voters as they head to the polls in November.
Goldman Sachs expects 0.7% growth in Q1. This will be followed by a 5% contraction in Q2.
For the full-year, Goldman expects growth to fall to 0.4% as opposed to the 1.2% that had been projected earlier.
What Citizen Trump said about sub-2% growth
For a president averse to criticism, Trump has stated before that GDP growth below 2% is dismal for the United States. So even Goldman’s pre-coronavirus projection was dismal, according to Citizen Trump.
Case in point: Back in 2012, after the GDP figures for the first quarter of that year were revised down to 1.9%, Trump tweeted that the U.S. economy was in “deep trouble.”
Now he is the one being held to scrutiny.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.
This article was edited by Sam Bourgi.