How GDP Growth Under Trump Compares To Clinton, Obama And Other Presidents


How GDP Growth Under Trump Compares To Clinton, Obama And Other Presidents

Wayne Duggan                         October 29, 2020


With the presidential election less than a week away, Americans are weighing the two presidential candidates and choosing which is best for the country over the next four years —if they haven’t already voted.

One way they can do that is by looking back on the first term of President Donald Trump and comparing the impact his policies have had on the country to previous administrations.

Trump’s GDP Numbers: Trump has campaigned as the best choice for the U.S. economy. Trump often uses the stock market as a scorecard for his policies, but the best representation of the real U.S. economy is gross domestic product.

Here’s a look at annual U.S. GDP growth during Trump’s presidency. The 2020 estimate comes from the Federal Reserve:

  • 2017: +2.3%
  • 2018: +3%
  • 2019: +2.2%
  • 2020: -3.7%

How Trump Compares: Overall, U.S. GDP growth has averaged about 0.95% during Trump’s first term in office. Here’s a look at how that GDP growth stacks up to his predecessor, President Barack Obama:

  • 2009: -2.5%
  • 2010: +2.6%
  • 2011: +1.6%
  • 2012: +2.2%
  • 2013: +1.8%
  • 2014: +2.5%
  • 2015: +3.1%
  • 2016: +1.7%

In his eight years in office, U.S. GDP growth averaged 1.62% under Obama, about 70% higher than Trump’s growth rate.

Here’s a look at average GDP growth rates under the last six U.S. presidents:

  • Jimmy Carter (D): 3.25%
  • Ronald Reagan (R): 3.48%
  • George H.W. Bush (R): 2.25%
  • Bill Clinton (D): 3.88%
  • George W. Bush (R): 2.2%
  • Barack Obama (D): 1.62%
  • Donald Trump (R): 0.95%

In his first four years in office, Trump has had by far the lowest average U.S. GDP growth rate of any of the last seven U.S. presidents.

Overall, U.S. GDP growth was highest under Clinton and Reagan in this group. GDP growth was lowest under Trump and Obama.

Author: John Hanno

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. Bogan High School. Worked in Alaska after the earthquake. Joined U.S. Army at 17. Sergeant, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 84th Artillery, 7th Army. Member of 12 different unions, including 4 different locals of the I.B.E.W. Worked for fortune 50, 100 and 200 companies as an industrial electrician, electrical/electronic technician.

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