Trump wants credit for ‘fastest GDP growth in history.’ Here’s a reality check.


WASHINGTON Within the final sprint to Election Day, President Donald Trump is gearing as much as tout an anticipated surge in third-quarter financial progress as proof of “the good American comeback” within the hope of snatching one other come-from-behind victory.

Trump Fb adverts launched this week however presently set as inactive plug the “FASTEST GDP GROWTH IN HISTORY,” with triumphant photographs of the president. “Due to President Trump’s daring motion and powerful management the US financial system is barely going UP!” one of many adverts says.

Credit score: Fb and Fb.com/DonaldTrump

Trump has additionally previewed the message on Twitter in current days, saying the financial system is “able to set new information” and including: “Huge GDP projected.” It comes as third-quarter gross home product figures are anticipated to be launched Thursday, simply 5 days earlier than the ultimate day of voting within the election.

The quantity is projected to be historic: Economists count on GDP to extend by about 25 p.c to 30 p.c. And Trump is prone to take full credit score for the expansion and use it as his remaining pitch to steer voters that the nation is absolutely on the mend with a V-shape restoration.

However the actuality is extra difficult. The financial system was recovering from a 31.four p.c drop within the earlier quarter, the worst decline ever recorded, amid mass stay-at-home orders. And consultants say the trail to totally making up the losses is rocky significantly with coronavirus case numbers rising faster than ever before in the U.S. and a scarcity of a stimulus bundle.

“Whereas the third-quarter bounce in GDP shall be a document quarterly acquire, it is not all that spectacular, because it follows the collapse in financial exercise within the second quarter,” stated economist Mark Zandi, who added that “even with the third-quarter acquire, actual GDP may have solely recovered about two-thirds of what was misplaced within the second-quarter free fall.”

The financial system is poised to develop, as shopper spending was up over the summer season, with extra individuals out and about than within the earlier months, when the nation was largely locked down. Auto and housing markets have additionally improved as individuals transfer out of cities and purchase properties and automobiles to get round as an alternative of take public transportation.

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However a scarcity of recent stimulus from Congress means extra individuals will fall into poverty, extra companies will shut and extra People will get evicted within the coming months. The third-quarter progress was fueled by unemployment checks, small-business loans and direct funds, none of which have been replenished for the fourth quarter.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has referred to as it a “Ok-shaped” restoration that is good for higher earners and unhealthy for low-income employees. He has faulted Trump’s dealing with of the pandemic, arguing that the financial fallout can be much less extreme if he had listened to scientists about public well being coverage and if he had struck a cope with Congress for extra reduction.

Donald Trump squandered the robust financial system he inherited from the Obama-Biden Administration, changing into the worst jobs president because the Nice Despair,” stated Biden marketing campaign spokesman Andrew Bates. He stated Trump’s refusal to “take the pandemic severely” means the “financial system is stalling out proper now as layoffs rise and infections surge.”

People narrowly approve of Trump’s dealing with of the financial system and widely disapprove of his response to the coronavirus, in accordance with polling averages tracked by RealClearPolitics. The financial system is a uncommon problem on which battleground state polls present Trump holding an edge over Biden.

Trump’s claims that the financial system is able to be the “finest ever” may have a hoop of reality for one group of individuals: faculty graduates who’re comfortably working from residence. These People are saving cash on commuting, meals and leisure bills. Some who’re invested in markets have seen their portfolios recognize because the Federal Reserve buys massive quantities of securities.

However hundreds of thousands of People stay unemployed, with dim prospects. Many have been unable to pay hire or mortgages. Giant numbers of People have been laid off or have had their hours diminished. Tens of millions can not afford to eat as food insecurity rises.

Huge companies are nonetheless asserting massive layoffs each week. This week, Disney introduced extra layoffs, and New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority stated that with out extra assist, it might lower as much as 8,000 jobs in 2021. On the identical time, job progress is slowing, and weekly unemployment numbers are nonetheless excessive.

Rising coronavirus case numbers have prompted some states to enact extra restrictions. And the approaching winter may hit small companies arduous, particularly eating places.

Some Republicans doubt that Trump’s message shall be a recreation changer.

“With the virus surging once more and far of the nation nonetheless locked down, nobody in America is pleased with the financial system proper now it doesn’t matter what the statistics say,” stated Michael Metal, a marketing consultant who labored for Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential marketing campaign and for former Home Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.





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