It wasn’t the best financial system ever, as Trump steadily claims. However earlier than the coronavirus disaster exploded in March, President Trump oversaw a B+ financial system that was in all probability strong sufficient for him to win reelection.
The Yahoo Finance Trumponomics Report Card now charges the Trump financial system a C, a decline of 4 notches from Trump’s pre-virus standing. The Trumponomics Report Card compares six key information factors beneath Trump—employment, manufacturing employment, exports, earnings, inventory values and GDP—to the identical metrics beneath six prior presidents on the similar level of their presidencies. On three of these measures, Trump will get the worst marks of any president since Jimmy Carter within the 1970s. However he scores surprisingly properly on three different metrics, leading to his middling C grade. When President Obama was operating for reelection in 2012, he had the equal of a B- on the financial system—ok for him to win.
The six elements of the Report Card reveal the ravages of the coronavirus recession, attributable to widespread lockdowns and shoppers’ unwillingness to go away dwelling. Total employment is without doubt one of the three areas the place Trump is performing worst among the many seven presidents. The financial system has misplaced three.9 million jobs since Trump took workplace, the worst displaying by far of any president because the 1970s. The second worst quantity was 605,000 jobs misplaced on the similar level in George W. Bush’s first time period, in 2004. The numbers beneath Trump have bounced again from a low level in April, however the employment gap stays deep. Listed below are the variety of jobs misplaced or created beneath every of the final seven presidents, in tens of millions:
GDP development, adjusted for inhabitants, can be far decrease beneath Trump than beneath any of the six prior presidents. Earlier than the disaster, Trump had the second-best GDP numbers, after Jimmy Carter in 1980. However that modified when second-quarter GDP plummeted. Third-quarter GDP numbers come out Oct. 29—5 days earlier than Election Day—and can in all probability present a partial restoration. However that received’t be sufficient to alter Trump’s grade on our report card.
Moody’s Analytics, which supplies the info for our report card, created an index making it simple to check the change in GDP beneath every president. The index for every president begins at 100, with the most recent index quantity representing a proportion enhance or lower in contrast with 100. Trump’s newest index studying is 94.7, that means GDP per capita has fallen 5.three% since he took workplace. That’s the one decline among the many final seven presidents:
The third space the place Trump will get the bottom mark is exports. This information solely goes again to 1993, so we are able to solely examine Trump with three prior presidents. Nonetheless, it’s ugly. This chart additionally represents an index created by Moody’s Analytics, measuring modifications because the starting of every president’s first time period. The newest Trump quantity is 89.three, indicating a 10.7% drop in exports:
Trump does greatest on earnings, which is partly resulting from a statistical quirk. Trump has gotten the highest mark on common hourly earnings since final October, in all probability due to a tightening labor market that, again then, was in its 10th yr of growth. When employees get laborious to seek out, employers should pay extra, pushing common earnings up. Then, in April, common earnings spiked, on the similar time layoffs additionally spiked. That signifies that corporations laid off much more lower-paid employees than higher-paid ones, pushing the common pay of these nonetheless working method increased than regular. Listed below are the numbers, listed to permit comparability from the beginning of every president’s first time period. Trump’s index quantity is 106.5, or a 6.5% enhance:
Maybe most stunning is the resilience of producing employment beneath Trump. Earlier than the virus arrived, Trump had the second greatest manufacturing numbers, after Carter in 1980. He now ranks third, behind Carter and Invoice Clinton in 1996. This isn’t essentially an indication of success, nonetheless. The financial system has now misplaced 164,000 manufacturing jobs beneath Trump, clearly nothing to brag about. The explanation that counts as third greatest is that manufacturing job losses had been far worse beneath Barack Obama, George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Listed below are the numbers:
Lastly, inventory values have held up pretty properly beneath Trump, regardless of the deep recession, placing him in fourth place on the worth of the S&P 500 benchmark. Obama is available in first, adopted by Clinton in 1996 and George H.W. Bush in 1992. That is additionally an index permitting us to measure modifications from the start of every presidency. The Trump inventory index quantity is 142.three, or a 42.three% rise within the S&P 500 since he took workplace:
There’s fiery debate over how a lot credit score or blame a president deserves for the financial system beneath his watch. No president, for example, may have stopped the coronavirus outbreak earlier this yr. However a extra forceful nationwide technique on testing, tracing and precautionary measures may have restricted the unfold and allowed extra companies to reopen, sooner. Voters give Trump significantly poor marks for his dealing with of the disaster.
Trump has additionally benefited from the actions of others—most significantly, the Federal Reserve, which has offered unprecedented financial stimulus that has restricted the financial downturn and propped up inventory values. And Congress has handed mammoth stimulus packages stopping the injury from being worse. Trump’s predecessor, Obama, loved comparable assist, one purpose he has the highest mark on the inventory market. No president does all of it on his personal, even when they attempt to persuade you they do.
Rick Newman is the creator of 4 books, together with “Rebounders: How Winners Pivot from Setback to Success.” Observe him on Twitter: @rickjnewman. Confidential tip line: [email protected]. Encrypted communication accessible. Click on right here to get Rick’s tales by e mail.
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