Barack Obama set plenty of economic records during his administration.
He set a record in becoming the first president since WWII to never see a single year with 3 percent (or greater) GDP growth. In fact, the average GDP growth rate during his tenure was roughly 1.5 percent. The only president with a worse economic record (by that metric) since 1930 was Herbert Hoover. Obama also added a historic nine trillion dollars to the national debt, presided over nearly fifteen million leaving the labor force (while 9.9 million jobs were created) – and much, much, more!
Much of the economic hardships under Obama’s administration can be attributed to the lack of growth – but when it comes to the magic “three percent” figure, Trump is already on the right track.
According to CNBC, the U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the second quarter, notching its quickest pace in more than two years, and there are signs that the momentum was sustained at the start of the third quarter.
Gross domestic product increased at a 3.0 percent annual rate in the April-June period, the Commerce Department said in its second estimate on Wednesday. The upward revision from the 2.6 percent pace reported last month reflected robust consumer spending as well as strong business investment.
Growth last quarter was the best since the first quarter of 2015 and followed a 1.2 percent pace in the January-March period. Economists had expected that second-quarter GDP growth would be raised to a 2.7 percent rate.
Retail sales and business spending data so far suggest the economy maintained its stamina early in the third quarter. Economists saw a limited impact on growth from Hurricane Harvey, which devastated parts of Texas.
“The impact on the national economy will be minor,” said Gus Faucher, chief economist at PNC Financial Services in Pittsburgh. “While some output will be lost in the wake of the storm, most of the difference will be made up in the months ahead.”
Growth estimates for the third quarter are as high as a 3.4 percent rate. Other data on Wednesday showed private employers ramped up hiring in August, adding 237,000 jobs to their payrolls. That was up from 201,000 jobs in July.
The ADP National Employment Report was released ahead of the government’s more comprehensive employment report on Friday, which is expected to show solid job gains in August and diminishing labor market slack.
If the growth estimate of 3.4 percent is met in the third quarter, fourth quarter growth will need to be at least 3 percent for us to achieve the first year since when Obama took office where we averaged a year with 3 percent+ economic growth. Obama’s highest quarterly growth on record came at just north of 4.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011 – so many the fourth quarter is a charm.