Trump: I built the greatest ever US economy prior to the coronavirus outbreak. He claims to have generated historic economic growth, record low unemployment, and lifted millions of Americans out of poverty – and he says he will do it all again if re-elected.
According to BBC Reality Check; It’s true the economy was doing well prior to the pandemic – continuing a trend which began during the Obama administration – but there have been periods when it was much stronger. Trump has never reached the peak that Obama has. During his first three years in office, President Trump oversaw an annual average growth of 2.5%. The last three years of the Obama administration saw a similar level of growth (2.3%) along with a significantly higher figure (5.5%) in mid-2014.
If we look at growth rates as far back as comparable records allow, it’s clear there have been frequent periods when the growth of GDP – the value of goods and services in the economy – has been significantly higher than under President Trump. In the early 1950s, for example, annualised GDP growth rate periodically exceeded 10%.
The US economy has now been hit by the biggest economic contraction ever recorded and the highest unemployment rate in more than 80 years. In the second quarter of 2020 – accounting for April, May and June – the economy contracted by over 30%. That’s more than three times greater than the 10% fall in 1958.