Trump’s lofty GDP goal
President-elect Donald Trump pledged during the campaign to bring jobs back to America and boost overall economic growth. “It’s time to establish a national goal of reaching 4 percent of economic growth,” he said in a September speech. But many private economists see a 4 percent goal as a very tall order given current economic trends and recent history.
President Barack Obama, who took office with the country in the worst recession in 70 years, will leave office with annual GDP gains averaging an anemic 1.5 percent. That’s even worse than the 2.1 percent GDP average when George W. Bush was in office. Over the last four decades, only Bill Clinton has come close to 4 percent GDP rates, averaging 3.9 percent when he was in office in the 1990s.
Economists have boosted their forecasts based on Trump’s proposals to cut taxes and increase spending on infrastructure, but those forecasts are still around 2.5 percent in 2017 and 2018, far below 4 percent.
Sources: Bureau of Economic Analysis Martin Crutsinger; Alex Nieves • AP