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Nevada Today

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News and informationOpinionsThe Economy

History of U.S. Economic Indicators for each Presidential Term Since Reagan.

Summary Analysis for each U. S. Economic Indicator by :
Jim Moranville

  1. Jobs Added

Trump during the first two years of his term added an average  of 2,416,000 jobs annually.  This is LESS THAN the average  number of jobs added by Obama in his last 4-year term with an annual  average  of 2,588,750, both of Clinton terms (1st term being the highest of all other presidents: 2,913,250 annual  average, and Reagan’s 2nd term with a 2,697,750 annual  average.

  1. Unemployment Rate

Trump during the first two years of his term lowered the unemployment rate from 4.7% to 3.9% or only by 0.8%. Obama, on the other hand, decreased the rate from 7.3% (during the recession the unemployment rate increased to 9.9% his first year) to 4.7%, which is a decrease of 2.2% from the height of the recession. Obama had the highest declline in this rate since before  Reagan.

  1. GDP (Gross Domestic Product)

Trump during the first two years of his term has an annual  GDP average  of 2.65%, which is the highest since Clinton’s two terms

(Clinton’s 2nd term has the highest average  of 4.45%). Reagan also had two terms with a higher annual  average.

  1. Inflation

Trump during the first two years of his term has total inflation of 4.00%, an average  of 2.00%, which is comparably higher than

Obama’s last term at 5.10% for four years, an average  of 1.28%.

  1. Stock Market

The stock market is normally higher every year.  The stock market should be analyzed not by how high it is, but how it increases over time as a percentage. Investors look at the percent increase  of their investments over a period of time, normally a year.  So Trump’s claim that the stock market never has been  as high as it is now is MISLEADING.  As you can see, the first two years of Trump’s 1st term yielded an annual average  of 9.0% increase, versus  an annual  average  of 12.5% for both of Obama’s terms, and an annual average  of 20.3% for both of Clinton’s terms, and an annual  average  of 13.1% for both of Reagan’s terms. So Trump’s average  annual  increase  of the stock market is LESS THAN what these predecessors experienced. AND, at the time of each of their presidential terms, the stock market was at an “all-time high” for each of his predecessors in most cases!

  1. Overall Summary

As you can see, all of the listed factors DO NOT substantiate Trump’s claim of “the best economy ever”!! IN FACT, these economic indicators put Trump’s economy in perspective – but DEFINITELY NOT THE BEST!

Mouse over precious and next arrow at bottom of table to scroll through the details.

Summary Table
YearJobs Added (1,000s)Unemployment
Rate (December)
GDP GrowthInflation (Dec. Year over Year)Stock Market (DOW Jones @ End of Year)What HappenedDuring Presidential Term
Average Jobs Added Annually during TermUnemployment Rate Change from Prior TermGDP Growth Annual AverageAnnual Inflation Average (Dec.) during TermStock Market Average Annual Increase during TermPresidential Term
201826793.90%2.90%1.90%23327.46Trump tax cuts .2416(0.8%)2.65%2.0%9.0%
201721534.10%2.40%2.10%24719.22Dollar weakened
201623184.70%1.60%2.10%19762.6Presidential race2589(3.2%)2.20%1.3%12.7%Obama
201527295.00%2.90%0.70%17425.03Natural rate
201430065.60%2.50%0.80%17823.07Unemployment at 2007 levels.
201323026.70%1.80%1.50%16576.66Stocks up 30%. Long term=50% of unemployed.
201221747.90%2.20%1.70%13104.1QE. 10-year rate at 200-year low. Fiscal cliff.580.6%0.98%2.2%12.3%Obama
201120758.50%1.60%3.00%12217.626 months of job losses by July. Debt ceiling crisis. Iraq
War ended .
201010359.30%2.60%1.50%11577.5Obama tax cuts.
2009-50539.90%-2.50%2.70%10428.1ARRA. Min wage $7.25. Jobless benefits extended
2008-35527.30%-0.10%0.10%8776.4Min. wage = $6.55/ hour. Financial crisis5531.9%2.05%2.5%(4.7%)George W.
200711415.00%1.90%4.10%13264.8EU became #1 economy.
200525244.90%3.50%3.40%10717.5Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention Act. Katrina
200420395.40%3.80%3.30%10783Expansion.-201.5%2.35%2.3%(0.0%)George W.
2002-5096.00%1.70%2.40%8341.6War on Terror
2001-17255.70%1.00%1.60%10021.6Bush tax cuts. 9/11 attacks
200019363.90%4.10%3.40%10788NASDAQ hit record high .2893(1.5%)4.45%2.4%16.8%Clinton
199931794.00%4.80%2.70%11497.1Euro. Serbian airstrike
199830484.40%4.50%1.60%9181.4LTCM crisis
199734074.70%4.40%1.70%7908.3Min wage $5.85
199628245.40%3.80%3.30%6448.3Welfare reform2913(2.0%)3.33%2.8%23.8%Clinton
199438525.50%4.00%2.70%3833.4School to Work Act
199328206.50%2.80%2.70%3754.1Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act
199211697.40%3.50%2.90%3301.1NAFTA drafted6502.1%2.25%4.2%13.1%George H. W. BushRepublican
1991-8377.30%-0.10%3.10%3168.83Desert Storm. Min wage $4.25
198919385.40%3.70%4.60%2753.2Reforms made to address S&L Crisis
198832375.30%4.20%4.40%2168.24Fed raised rate2698(2.0%)3.85%3.4%19.7%Ronald
198731525.70%3.50%4.40%1938.83Black Monday
198619006.60%3.50%1.10%1895.95Tax cuts
198334598.30%4.60%3.80%1258.64Reagan increased military spending
1982-212410.80%-1.80%3.80%1046.54Job Training Partnership Act. Garn-St.Germain Act.
1981-488.50%2.50%8.90%875Reagan tax cuts. Min wage $3.35
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About Author

Michael McGreer Mesquite, Nevada
Dr. Michael Manford McGreer is managing editor of and writes on issues that impact public policy.

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