Trump’s lofty GDP goal

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

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

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