U.S. Growth at Slowest Since 2016, Complicating Trump’s Pitch

Boeing’s troubles, trade disruption and a tight job market held back growth last year, and a more subdued expansion appears to lie ahead.

Comments: 205

  1. American economy is in its best of times even with the problems of Boeing MAX troubles and G.M. strike. Boeing and G.M. are too big and far too important to fail giants and all signs are that they will be just fine in 2020. The fired CEO of Boeing Made off with millions but that is just the way it is and no one can do much about the CEO pays and perks. Maybe Bernie or Warren can shake these deep pocket CEOs for paying off the national debt.

  2. The “stimulus effect” faded. What hope for our country didn’t fade under Trump? Think this is bad - just wait. The money scurrying, what to do, has just begun. And we poor seniors are even having our Social Security and Medicare threatened. Not to mention paying into it for six decades, at least, for some of us. But yet his supporters think he’s making America great....again.

  3. Mima, my business substantially better than 8 years under Obama. Trump 2020 solely based on economy.

  4. @Mike Your business is better because the current administration took the very positive trends created under Obama and then supported them with stimulus that we will be paying for MANY years down the line. There's a recent history of democratic administrations having to clean up the "messes" created before them. (Obama and the great recession is a perfect example). I fear that this history will repeat itself.

  5. @Mike ~ Take away the first few years, which were a hangover from Bush [although Presidents really aren't solely responsible or laudable for something so complex] and get back to us for happened "under Obama" and what Trump inherited.

  6. I have read that the Boeing 747 was the most reliable plane they ever built. In consideration of it's popularity and reliability, why not restart production with necessary changes as known and please don't use fly-by-wire which doesn't allow manual control. I can't imagine who would have proposed a computer have precedence over a human brain.

  7. @PATRICK jumbo jets are out of favor now, and as great as the 747 was it is maintenance heavy and inefficient in fuel usage

  8. well that's not the 3% growth Mnuchin said we'd have (and we'd need to be able to pay for) his tax cut. Remember in November folks!

  9. @Dave - Indeed; the charts show that 3 years under Impeached Forever 45* have yielded a repeat of Obama's GDP numbers for 2012, 2014, and 2015 - and all for the low low low bargain basement price of only $2Trillion$ in tax cuts (deepest possible sarcasm). The only question is. how many lies from results such as this should now be added to Extremely Stable Genius 45*'s running lies total of 16,000+?

  10. @Dave For anybody paying attention to the facts and with comprehension skills, the results (or lack thereof) of the disastrous $2TN tax cut is clear. Though, as we know, stable genius (!) and his cult do not bother with facts or comprehension of any sorts.

  11. Hmm, a tight job market holding back the economy? Maybe we need more immigrants to provide more labor? Also, we have an aging population, with a greater percentage of American drawing retirement benefits, and a smaller percentage working. Immigrants are typically young and hard working. So glad our President and the Republican party understand the importance immigration has played in our history and can continue to play in our future.

  12. Do you actually understand what is meant by a “ tight job market”? It doesn’t appear so....

  13. @Bill It's not holding back the economy. That's just business spin. The only thing it is holding back is their profit margins, but wages should be allowed to increase. Not sure why you want to bring in more immigrants to keep wages low so a couple of rich people can make more money at workers expense.

  14. @Keith Yeah, wages should be allowed to increase. But they are currently barely keeping up with inflation. If only there was some entity accountable to the people that could regulate some kind of minimum livable wage that corporations would need to provide... I know of one party that is raising wages across the US, and it doesn't start with R.

  15. The reality, based on history and facts, is that an extended GDP increase above the most recent average, say the last 20 years, depends on a complex situation in which most everything, in the US and around the world, is good. Which of course is very fragile. But I guess Trump boasting about the GDP, even though facts deny his claims and promises, can't be held against him, since he can lie for his own personal good and not be held accountable.

  16. This is a perfectly healthy figure for a mature economy like the United States, one which compares very nicely to numerous European countries. Enjoy it while it lasts. (It won’t.)

  17. If asked about the weaker growth numbers Trump and his team will adhere to their mantra: If it’s good news, it’s because of us. It’s it’s bad, it’s someone else’s fault.

  18. @Stephen That's not just Trump's mantra. It's the mantra of basically every politician in the country.

  19. @Stephen "someone else's fault" to finish your thought...ie Obama's?

  20. Meanwhile a vigorous, deadly virus is knocking at our door and could be riding on goods coming in from China as well as people/animals or even dust carried in the jet streams. The markets are nervous and should be. If there are no (or greatly reduced) consumers worldwide....need I say more? Welcome to climate change, folks.

  21. Welcome to scientific illiteracy. The Corona virus outbreak has nothing to do with climate change. It is the result of the Chinese overpopulation and desire to eat anything that moves, the more exotic the better, combined with their love of bringing dozens of species including humans together in wet markets. The virus can ONLY be transmitted from live animal to live animal and few, if any, species besides the original source and humans can be infected with it. It can not be contracted from shipped goods and certainly not from dust. There are many reasons for concern about the outbreak, but cheesy sci fi movie movie scenarios are not among them.

  22. @Renee Margolin I'm aware of that. But what about the bats, what is climate change doing to their habitat, life cycle, and exposure to humans? And how sure is the "community" that it is only live animal to live animal? Lots of research now on how "alive" rain and dust are; many hitchhikers. This is very complex stuff, Renee. And, yes, population pressure is definitely a factor as David Quamman posed a few days ago in a NYT article. My larger point is that climate change will definitely pose some serious medical problems to humans. Cholera being among the most likely as sea levels rise.

  23. I’m bathing in the Trump economy! Anybody got a job?

  24. You mean the Trump administration lied? No way! He promised 3% or higher every year! If he ‘believes’ it’s true then it is. ~ King Trump

  25. Trump doesn't read and the rest of his economic spin masters are too busy trying to please him by turning a pig's ear into a silk purse, but the warning signs are all there. The Economist points out that our budget deficit, which fell from 13% to 4% of GDP during Obama's tenure -- you know, the black president Republicans used to excoriate for being a profligate spender -- has now climbed to 5.5% of GDP and continues its upward trajectory. The GOP's now-silent deficit hawks not only seem unconcerned, they're actually telling Fox News it's time for "Tax Cuts 2.0," which will add another trillion to the deficit but help Trump get re-elected.

  26. @Christy : Why doesn't any politician/economist point out that our continuing sugar injection tax reduction induced annual deficits are likely to lead to an economic calamity when/if the rest of the world eventually the shrinking U.S. percentage of the world economy no longer merits the use of the U.S. dollar as the world's primary trading currency. Suddenly that increasingly horrific national debt repayment (including higher borrowing rates) being piled up will fall squarely on their shoulders or those of their children and grand children. Hint, their standard of living will go down and their taxes will go up. But short term thinking of entitlement is the very specialty of the American people and their (sort of) "elected" leaders obsessed with their continuation in office.

  27. @Christy Fortunately, they won't have a complicit GOP House to pass another tax cut. Next year, with a Democratic House, Senate, and president, we can get to work undoing the damage caused by the Trump plutocratic cuts.

  28. Gee, I don't suppose any of the downside has anything to do with the Dems trying to force a recession, promising us a recession, refusing (resisting?) any legislative action which might possibly be good for Trump (or for the U.S. economy), pushing investigations into fabricated claims that Trump or some of his associates were naughty, etc?

  29. @Weasel “Force a recession?” Um-where do you get that? Small business starts-the most important growth indicator for an economy-are at an all time low under Trump. This is largely due to his tax breaks and lack of large corporate regulation. It happened as fast as he can sign executive orders. The breaks have caused NO new capital investment or growth-which R’s claimed they would do, as well as pay for themselves via growth. Kansas could have told you the idea of Trickle Down is a nonstarter based on experience. They did this and it set them back 20-30 years. But no other R really understands economics anyway-so they didn’t learn from the lesson. As for the rest of it, it’s really very simple. Is it ok to lie, cheat and steal with your money, or is it not? If you think it is-then vote for Trump and be angry he was Impeached by the House. If you think not-then vote him, and the Senators who are blocking/distorting rule of law in the Senate our of office. The success of America is predicated entirely on confidence-confidence in ourselves, and of the world in the US. Confidence in our Court System, Rule of Law, and Economy. There is a very real reason DJT, The Trump Organization and The Kushner’s can not get a loan from a US lender. Think about that. $0 credit with US banks. How can that be? Zero confidence. Hm.

  30. @Weasel - please explain how a political party can “force” a recession. Reasoning and numbers would be good.

  31. @Weasel I'm interested in any examples of legislation put forward by the Ds that would cause a recession. Or any examples of them refusing to consider legislation that would provoke expansion.

  32. No, no, no, this articles quotes a myriad of facts that only economists would support. The journalists only devoted one sentence to our President Trump's statement at Davos that our economy is booming more than it ever has in the history of our nation. That should have been the beginning, middle and end of this article. It will be if Senate Republicans anoint him King by voting to uphold the Dershowitz precedent that the President cannot be impeached for doing anything, as long as he claims it is in the interest of the country. Instead this article spouts alternative facts. Trump said in 2017 his massive tax cut would grow the economy by up to 6%. Since then we've had critical articles claiming the economy grew by only 3.1% from January to March 2018 with the sugar high of the tax cut, then 2.5% in 2018, then 2.3% in 2019 and now this article claiming (based upon data from the Commerce Department) growth was only 2.1% between October and December 2019. The good news, the real news is that these critical articles will begin to disappear after Trump is re-elected and backed by a Senate controlled by Republicans. Our trillion dollar per year deficit will not cause massive inflation. Trump will re-quote his statement that "he could continue to borrow knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. The U.S. ill never default because you can print the money." Better invest in gold!

  33. Donald told us that GDP of 5 even 6-percent was easy with him as president. Donald told us that Mexico would pay for the building of a wall. Due to the fact that Donald was the only negotiator capable of getting them to do that. Donald and his children stole tens of millions from Americans by utilizing a scam university and a scam foundation. Why are they not charged criminally? I ask due to the fact that any average American would have been charged and sent to prison for doing the exact same thing.

  34. @Steve This Donald fellow you speak of , would he be the same Donald who told the Washington Post that he could pay off the entire US Debt ( 19 billion at the time) in 8 years ? The same Donald who now has US debt at over 23 trillion? That Donald ??

  35. Yeah I really don't understand why the articles always talk about "the 3-4% growth promised by the president" when I clearly remember him talking about 5 and 6% in his speeches.

  36. @Jason : Don't you understand yet: Just because you heard and/or saw it doesn't mean it actually happened. That must be true because the President/would be dictator has told us so many times. Go back and re-read "1984." Nothing exists or matters if it is not the wish of the stable genius POTUS and his millions of adulating sycophants who include most Republican U.S. Senators. His supporters would do well to remember that their power likely is not unending (though POTUS is already preparing for presidential runs by his children). What goes around comes around.

  37. "Hearty" tax cuts? Hardly.

  38. @dr. c.c. Trump Tax Cuts Helped Billionaires Pay Less Taxes Than The Working Class In 2018 “For the first time in American history, the 400 wealthiest people paid a lower tax rate than any other group, according to a new study by economists Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman at the University of California, Berkeley.” “It’s never been more clear that our country’s tax code is built to serve only those who have the most money. While hedge fund managers, private equity executives and venture capitalists benefit from the carried interest tax loophole, everyday Americans barely get a deduction for their student loan interest payments.” "Most of the tax cut went to businesses and higher income individuals who are less likely to spend the increases," reads the report. Who is saving the most money from Trump's tax cuts - CNBC “That exacerbates income inequality in the country, according to the Tax Policy Center, and as the wealthiest families see their incomes rise more than middle- or lower-income Americans, they are able to save more. In fact, while the wealthiest 20% of families in the U.S. saw their post-tax income increase by 2.9% on average after the cuts, middle-income earners saw just a 1.6% increase, per TPC.”

  39. One thing I do not understand about discussion about growth in the economy. This is as the size of the economy gets larger and larger the amount being tacked on at a two percent say is larger and larger. Our economy by absolute value of the delta is increasing, and having a certain "growth" rate gets more difficult and ill advised.

  40. @NYT Reader Think of an economy as a living creature. To grow, basically a living being requires two things: food; and the inherent capacity to continue to grow. If that being always has those two things, the limit on growth is the capacity of its environment to contain it at any arbitrary size. Take a guinea pig. If you keep feeding it from birth, it will continue to grow, but it will be limited by its genetic makeup to a maximum size, no matter how much it is fed - and that limit will usually be much smaller than its habitat would enforce. But, some creatures, like lizards, can grow indefinitely as long as they are fed enough of a proper diet. However, that growth is slow enough so that it does not strain their capacity to find and ingest enough food to maintain growth, even if you fed them as much as they could eat every day. Again, their genetic makeup limits their rate of growth. For any creature, if you overfed it, it might get fat and happy for a time - until the effects of obesity pop up; even worse if overfed with a poor diet. The only part of the creature that is completely happy is the metabolic functions that favor weight gain and the storage of fat. Which pretty much describes most of trickle down economics.

  41. The rich put all their money in the bank and did nothing with it. Same as the corporations. Nor would anyone expand into a hostile chaotic environment the republicans have created.

  42. this paper cant decide whether the economy is booming or busting seemingly week to week. unscrutinized jobs reports are always great news, regardless of the quality of those jobs or how gig jobs may inflate job numbers since most of the time people dont necessarily quit them, rising stocks a4e always hailed as proof trump is good at the economy despite reams of evidence that a sitting president doesnt have measurable or immediate impact and that rising dividends result in further investment or broad benefit to anyone outside of tech, banking or boomers with their roth IRAs and 401ks. the paper freely sites govt agencies after we already know since 2017 when they were fudging numbers that this administration and its slash and burn approach to federal agencies plays fast and loose with the truth. other papers seem to have a more level tone and do not rush to credit Donald Trump. what is going in in your newsroom, folks?

  43. Everything has slowed because real growth depends on the spending habits of the best consumers, e.g, the middle and lower classes. There has been NO substantial increase in income for these classes. No amount of stock market and 401k growth can substitute for this lack of income growth on the economy. Please make sure that Jerome Powell and King Trump and his permanent team of criminal lawyers ‘get the memo’.

  44. @Dr. Girl " Please make sure that Jerome Powell and King Trump and his permanent team of criminal lawyers ‘get the memo’." They either already got the memo, and care only about their personal wealth prospects, or they believe - like many, if not most, conservatives - in the economics equivalent of perpetual motion: getting more out of the system than you put into it. Of course, it all depends on truly understanding the system you're talking about. Many times over the centuries, too-clever engineers thought they had cracked perpetual motion only to finally realize their "system" was not has self contained as they had thought. What the world needs now is a socioeconomic version of the scientific method. Faith only works in religion. Sort of.

  45. @drgirl Yes, and don’t forget all the baby boomers downsizing and getting rid of a lifetime of stuff. And the millennials who are buying little as a result of student loans and their belief in a sustainable lifestyle. It doesn’t bode well for the consumer market if consumers on both ends of the market are not buying.

  46. “The greatest economy in American, possibly world, history.” This, like virtually everything your present President says, is a lie. Yet, it matters not. America was built on fantastical claims and beliefs. Americans want so badly to believe in their exceptionalism, their preeminent place in the universe, that most will swallow almost anything that confirms it and will reject and try to bury anything that doesn’t. Who would have imagined that 21st century America would be a place where belief would triumph over truth, reason and science.

  47. "The economy slowed...and billions of Earth's life forms sighed in relief" I'd be more excited about a booming economy, and less fearful of a slow down, if global GDP didn't so perfectly correlate with the chances of global environmental collapse. It's ever clearer that my grandchildren will struggle to survive in an environmental and political dystopia of our market capitalism's own making. As always, our expert economist undervalue long-term costs of our system to showcase the short term "loot" of the "I want it Now" generation. Good luck everyone, may your 401K provide comfort as the world burns.

  48. @Chris N. Exactly. And on 401K's, A wiseman once said, "Don't count your chickens before they hatch."

  49. This economy looks a lot like the Obama economy (plus a bunch of tariffs that aren't helping anything) that was ridiculed by Trump. Similar growth. Similar lack of wage growth. Unemployment staying low. Businesses not investing and manufacturing doing worse than under Obama...all this after we basically let the biggest corporations do business without paying taxes. Still waiting for that massive unleashing of the economy this administration has promised.

  50. So we've got the same or worse GDP gand job growth than the late Obama years, relatively stagnant wage growth, poorer manufacturing numbers overall, no significant improvement in our trade position, a whole host of health risks due to massive deregulation and adding $1T/year to the USA credit card tab. This is winning?

  51. Trump is a liar, not an economist. He therefore is always boasting of an economy that doesn't exist, then claims he is the victim of his political enemies - when it is his ignorance.

  52. People seem to be so excited for any potential of a down turn.

  53. I will admit to thinking an economic slowdown wouldn’t be so bad if it meant getting rid of Trump and preventing him from destroying our democracy. What’s worse, a recession or a dictatorship? We know we can survive a recession. Not so sure about four more years of the wannabe authoritarian and his Republican hand maidens.

  54. @T , I am not excited about it but I do not see how you can countenance a president who says "this is the best economy ever" when it is, after a massive tax cut for the wealthy which has doubled the annual deficit left by Obama, and yet we are getting 2.3 or 2.2 % growth which is not an improvement. Job creation on a monthly basis is about 27,000 jobs per month less than it was during the last 3 years of the Obama presidency. I use 3 years because that is the exact time period Trump has been in office.

  55. The economy is in the late stage of the business cycle. There are signs of a slowdown. Railroad freight car loadings are down 7% from last year. The interest rate curve is essentially flat. The coronavirus will affect both the Chinese and the world economies.The effects of climate change are starting to be felt. Finally, debt is a historically high levels, although this is offset by the low interest rates (except for consumers). At some time, probably in the six to 18 month time frame, we will have a recession. Probably the timing will be such that it will not affect the election in November. But whomever is President when it hits will have a real problem, because we do not have much ammunition, other than sending the deficit not only through the roof but into outer space, to fight it.

  56. @John Graybeard You are essentially writing Trumps talking points for him.... Out of his mouth on the campaign trail: "My economy is the best ever.. it's only being hurt right now by China AND Democrats". (and yes.. I used "My" deliberately, because that is Trump.. he really does think that the US is his personal playground).

  57. @John Graybeard The effects of climate change have been in our collective face for several years. More floods, more deadly storms, more extreme and unusual weather, more drought...

  58. The rich-people-tax-cut bump is done. Probably sooner than it might have been if Trump hadn't pulled his tariff war shenanigans, but inevitable anyway. Obama's administration oversaw a recovery that settled into a stable GDP growth averaging around 2% for the longest economic recovery in history, and the economy under Trump is settling back to that growth. Despite torched regulations and faux promises of a return of manufacturing jobs. If Trump stops messing with things and lets capitalism work on its own like most Presidents who shepherd the USA through good economies that last, all will be well... ...as well as possible while we're toiling under the impending doom that is the effects of the massive tax revenue loss and profligate government spending Trump and the GOP have foisted on us. When the bills for that start to hit, the right's complaints about Obama's bailouts and stimulus package will seem all too petty. And if Trump keeps unnecessarily destabilizing world affairs, the effects of that will backfire to make things even worse. Exactly at the wrong time in history, when the world needs to get real, real soon, about the effects of global warming and climate change.

  59. WHat goes up must come down Good timing Mr Trump

  60. I appreciate the understandable analysis. Thank you.

  61. I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that the economy's growth has not met the wild expectations of Trump and the GOP when they cut taxes for the wealthy and big companies. And now we have growth that is the same as, or lower than, during the Obama years, plus we have trillion dollar annual budget deficits, which are likely to continue for years.

  62. It’s an interesting time for the American economy. With the gig labor market and the immense amount of real-time economic data that’s generated via online, we’re in some new territory for managing American capitalism. How will the gig economy absorb layoffs in the traditional labor market? How will public and private decision makers Incorporate real-time data to set interest rates and manage inventory? These are some questions we really don’t have any good answers for.

  63. @UC Graduate With AI, robots and everything else going on, more and more work will be done by fewer and fewer people; if things happen too quickly for people to adjust, it will result in a massive dislocation that will might embolden demagoguery and end our democracy. I think taxation and minimum wage policies will have to be overhauled in good time so as to forestall the possibility of anything as dire.

  64. Hmm, tight labor market... So what kinds of demographic policies help to increase the labor supply in a rapidly aging nation? Strange that the GOP is now more interested in pandering to nativist white fragility than pursuing strategic immigration policies that support domestic growth. So, we can expect an anemic S&P500, a 2020 Trump slump so to speak.

  65. The most common response that I hear regarding this economy is "my 401K is through the roof". 401K's are based on stocks and financial bundles, in which may be cashed out by the big investors long before we retire. Their aim is to sell high and buy low. For them it is a game of risk and confidence. However, you are committed tax-wise to buying and staying committed in the highs and lows. You are the cash cow. It is still a pyramid.

  66. This report by Cohen and Swanson is an opinion column posing as news reporting. They fail to recognize that their opinions are based on conventional punditry that has a terrible track record. The mismanaged US economy grows at only 2% and has showed no wage gains for 40 years because of government policy. The present inequality and concentration of wealth and power are supported by the opinions expressed in, and underlying where not expressed, this report. It needs to be said even though, or maybe especially because the counter arguments are beyond the scope of a mere comment.

  67. @dairubo Well said!! No real wage growth for 40 years. I would argue that there is an actual diminution in real wages. Back then, people did not have to put essentials on their credit cards.

  68. What would be really instructive in this election year would be the exact same chart you have in this article but with it going back to 2000 and the name of each President in each bar.

  69. @JD, presidents don't have nearly as much influence on the economy as people seem to think. But I guess as far as voters' perceptions go it would be instructive. Put up the parties in power in Congress as well.

  70. @JD The Washington post article has such a chart, except it is for each term, and it goes back to Carter. The economy did the nest under Reagan and Clinton, although it was not bad under Carter either. The NYT would not want such a chart because it shows that the growth has been higher under Trump than either of Obama’s terms. If his first term were adjusted to eliminate the recession year of 2009, it would still show higher growth under Trump. Growth in 2019 was clearly held back by Trump’s trade wars. Now that they are diminishing, the forecast is now for higher growth. The NYT has been hyping a recession since late 2018 to no avail. Think of it this way. Growth in Trump’s worst year, 2019, was higher than in four of the last seven years under Obama. Obama was a nicer person, but not a particularly effective economic steward.

  71. @Leonard - I agree with you. Trump did not have much to do with the 737 MAX debacle nor does he have anything to do with a coronavirus. If China ends up losing 25% of its population from a plague or they go into a 20 year civil war after being locked-down, we suffer here but the U.S. president has no control over such a thing.

  72. GDP is still a misleading measure of economic growth for a country. We need Median domestic Product. GDP needs not to be the gold standard anymore. i will explain why. Let's us 100 people as an examples because of round number and ease of understanding. 1. out of 100 each starting with $100, 98 stay stagnant, 1 loses $10, but one gains $100 technically the economy grew by $90 but it all went to one person. 2. median household income has stagnated for about two decades while per capita GDP has steadily increased but most workers don't feel it that is because it mostly went to people at the top. This is due to government, social, political , tax policies and not because "the way things are". 3. real median income rose in the decades prior so it is possible. 4. What we measure affects what we do." In his view, using the wrong metrics will inevitably lead to the wrong policies. 5. GDP, which counts the sum of the goods and services produced by a nation, fails in that it doesn't deal with distribution of income nor extractive effects such as pollution. 6. GDP is all about the income statement with considering the assets. 7. it doesn't measure well being, just like I am sure Kingdom's in the past had a high GDP.

  73. @hoffmanje - I agree with your argument completely, but GDP is still of value as a measure of overall productivity. It's a separate category which one needs to pay attention to with respect to investments, for example. I agree that Real Median Income needs to be reported more extensively and given more weight as a news item. I'd like a statistic on the median, inflation-adjusted wage change, year-over-year, for the middle 75% of wage earners. That would be informative.

  74. It doesn’t complicate anything for trump at all. He will simply lie; Fox will either ignore the story or pass on the lie. And his supporters will believe them instead of anyone else.

  75. The figures don't matter with the Trump and Republican spin machine supported by the state media Fox news...... if the impeachment arguments can be twisted as they have been they can spin anything. The party should just own up to it and call themselves The Rebublispins

  76. Candidate Trump claimed he could get to 5 or 6% growth. 2% is not even close. And it took a massive tax cut and wild spending, yielding an annual deficit of $1 trillion (for as far as the eye can see) plus a dovish Federal Reserve to come up with the meh 2%. When the next crash comes, it will be very ugly, especially with insufficient fiscal or monetary ammunition to fight it. You're doing a heckuva job, Trump! By the way, those 1 million legal immigrants per year you are keeping out -- they would have added about 1% to your growth rate.

  77. @S. Carlson Trump is riding on the coat tails of Obama's economy and has done everything he could to ruin it causing Americans to cut back on spending due to products going up in price due to tariffs etc. He knows nothing about the economy which was evidenced when he got over $433 Million from his father and lost about a billion with six bankruptcies. No bank in America will loan him money except Deutsche Bank where his loans are backed by Russia.

  78. @S. Carlson Trump's talent is to brag about his accomplishment and sells it to the people, a con man at best, mainly to his supporters, without providing any statistics or proof but using exaggerated adjectives repeatedly.. Check(Google it!) the US GDP chart since 1990. It shows steady growth before Trump era. Current economy status is not accomplished by his genius skills as he boasts.

  79. @Jacquie You've got to be kidding! You really think Obama boosted our economy?! His regulations and Obamacare nearly killed it.

  80. We never had a "booming economy" with adding so much to the national debt (over three trillion since Trump got in office). Trump's tax cuts expired (except for the rich), so of course consumer spending is going down. We are at the end of a sugar high. There is a reason why Warren Buffett is sitting on 128 billion dollars.

  81. A slowdown in the economy traced to President Big Mack would certainly hurt his reelection. I support it entirely. I am getting claustrophobic thinking that I cannot escape this catastrophe of a president by impeachment or vote.

  82. Trump loyalists are about to find out that they have been perceiving what they want rather than what there is.

  83. @Casual Observer - I doubt that. We dealing with a group of people who believe that if you put your hand on the television you will be healed and that if you mail Joel Olsteen a check, you will hit the lottery. They believe that if I, a gay man, find a date this Saturday that there will be a major hurricane in Houston. And in the 21st century, they are still obsessed with which restroom a person should use. Not exactly the guest lineup for a Dick Cavette show.

  84. The trillion dollar drug deal has run out and the billionaire addicts need additional product. Hotelier based economics isn't the solution. We need to get back to common sense, steady growth economic policy.

  85. In the last 3 years of the Obama Administration economic growth averaged 2.3%, while in the first 3 years of Trump it was 2.5%. If there is a sight economic down turn this year as predicted, economic growth under Obama may well prove to be slightly better than under Trump.

  86. @W.A. Spitzer Who is forecasting lower growth other than the NYT? The IMP is forecasting higher global growth. This represents the third time in 18 months that the Times has claimed that a recession is on the horizon. Hopefully, the improvement in the trade climate will continue, and growth will improve. I would say that regardless if the president in power. Record low unemployment rates, record stock levels, and solid GDP growth is good for the US. It is just bad for the party out of power.

  87. @W.A. Spitzer At what cost, and that too for a mere 0.2 percent effect ! If you are on a drug, you will go high for a while--that is the effect of gargantuan tax cut, it does not last long.

  88. @W.A. Spitzer But, according to Trump and his toadies, that 0.2% means we’re BOOMING. Funny, albeit sad that the Trump propaganda outlets—we’re talking about you, Tucker, Sean, and Lou—will never acknowledge reality.

  89. So much for the oft repeated mantra--the tax cut will pay for itself; despite so much evidence to the contrary, it does not seem to prevent Republicans repeating this over and over again. All indications are that current US tax rates are at the left end of the Laffer Curve and not the right end, where Republican argument would have some merit. Unlike the last time when economy was doing as well ('99), where deficits were in the process of getting erased, the tax cut policies and low interest rates at present are a disaster in the making. There will be very few tools, monetary, spending or taxation, to alleviate the coming recession, and we are likely to head to a financial disaster. I suppose the Republicans will celebrate when it happens on a democrat's watch--never mind that the seeds have been sown now.

  90. The chart shows the obvious "bump" of the tax cuts, but the bump lies down quickly. This is the lesson of Reaganomics, it's short term gain. What it doesn't show is the 2020 budget year (CBO prediction) of a TRILLION dollar deficit. What that really means is that there is a stimulous of a trillion dollars REQUIRED for the economy to grow at 2.3%.

  91. @Bob Exactly. The ratio between GDP and total deficit could help to see how great economy is.

  92. Trump had a very good economy the first couple of years of his administration, which was a carry over from the Obama years. The corporate tax cuts and low interest rates are not helping the economy as Trump would have the voters believe. He did push up the national debt another trillion $s this year though.

  93. Domestic spending was fueled by personal debt. That can never last.

  94. @Edward B. Blau Quite right. Growth based on debt is not real growth. It is a dangerous illusion.

  95. Manufacturing and labor will continue to falter as long as the private equity mindset pervades business.

  96. Even with massive federal deficits, the Trump economy is decidedly mediocre.......and shaky even at that. Take new car loans. More than 1/3 are for terms seven years or more. That shows that middle-class wages continue to lag, as the longer term is necessary to make the monthly nut affordable. The consumer spending which has driven the modest 2% growth looks to weaken. Despite the Trump/GOP propaganda, the tax giveaway to corporations and the rich hasn’t resulted in the promised business investment boom. But, don’t worry, all is well on yachts as stock buybacks set records, even as the federal deficit reversed course from the later Obama years, after the GOP Great Recession was tamed. Over at Fox, you can bet none of reality will intrude on the propaganda.

  97. It's hilarious because the whole system is rigged. Cut taxes for the rich, the rich dump that into stocks and corporate stock buy backs, everyone makes money, and then (because the wealthy have access to the top algorithms, money managers, funds) they liquidate just as the peak starts to tumble. The wealthy have such a high volume of shares, that their trades actually drive share prices down further, giving them the chance to buy all of the stocks back at rock bottom prices (when the rest of us have no money). Oh, and they lobby for additional tax cuts (the gutting of social programs) because are we certain cuts to medicaid will go 100% to funding the deficit.....or will they partially fund another tax cut in the future. Then, buy out the next group of politicians, rinse and repeat.

  98. @Pete that’s why you don’t try to time the market. Just hold on to your mutual fund investments and over time it will tend to go up. It’s still a better investment than most anything else.

  99. All this drama from the Trump administration has yielded nothing more than status quo results. Meanwhile, we have record deficits, small farmers on the brink of despair, and slowing manufacturing activity. And despite the crowing about record low unemployment, we have an increase in the uninsured population, which tells you something about the type of jobs being created. There is no economic miracle going on here.

  100. This 'great' economy is fueled by increasing personal debt, massive corporate debt (in spite of high cash reserves) and huge public debt. Like gasoline poured on a bonfire. This is not how a healthy economy works. But as long as people have money in their pockets now, they don't seem to care, and the media feed the deception by declaring that the economy is in great shape.

  101. I keep reading that a major drag on the economy is uncertainty. Basically, businesses are loath to make business investments in an uncertain geopolitical environment. Tariffs, trade wars, impeachment, the 2020 election, and on and on. While I believe businesses do hate uncertainty, I don't think this is the main driver of a lack of investment. Rather, a lack of investment is largely a result of the Financialization of America. Why risk investing in hiring more people, increasing wages, building factories, creating new products, or doing basic research when you don't have to? In a lower demand environment, the ROI of all these investments is much riskier than buying back your own stock or finding ways to avoid taxes ... particularly when you don't have much real competition. The demography of lower demand is here to stay, but our rigged financial system is political and should be changed.

  102. When will the MSM start realizing what a "house of cards" our trickle down economy is? It's set up to do one thing very well: funnel wealth from the bottom to the top. An inherent side effect of this however is the boom and bust nature of depriving the consumer engine that drives the economy the "fuel" it needs. You can set all the records you want on Wall St. and corporate profits, but the economy will never be healthy because the majority of people aren't sharing in the prosperity. Touting the "unemployment numbers" doesn't come close to telling the true story of what most Americans are experiencing. When was the last time people felt secure in their job situation, without having to worry that they'll lose it, or have a serious medical problem they can't afford, or could plan and enjoy a nice vacation away from home? In short, the lives of Americans have been shrunk, squeezed by the single-minded drive for more and more profits, and no amount of rosy economic figures will mask that. Americans know this, even if the "experts" don't. That's why they voted for Trump, even though they knew he was a snake oil salesman. When you're wasting away, and no one seems to care, and his wagon pulls into town and he holds up his bottle of magic elixir, you suspend disbelief and doubt and buy it because what other alternative is offered? But there IS an alternative: Sanders and Warren. They've got the real cure: end trickle down and spread the prosperity.

  103. I find it funny that GDP growth in the range of 2 to 3 % was considered terrible under Obama, but is considered to be terrific under Trump. Fact it, the economy is basically the same; it's all spin. Please, everyone, including the NYT, stop talking about the current economy as if it's something great, it isn't. Other than the fact that the recovery has been lengthy, it's actually been quite boring, and the middle class wage increases have been equally boring. Stick to the truth!

  104. @Jim Dennis There is a difference - Trump’s $1 trillion deficit.

  105. @Jim Dennis It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has noticed this hypocrisy coming from politicians and the media at large. I keep hearing the word "solid" to describe economic growth around 2%. This isn't something you would have heard when Obama was president. It's quite frustrating.

  106. GDP growth of only 2.1% in the 4th quarter of 2019 helps to explain how an unemployment rate of only 3.5% has not resulted in more disruptive inflation. Aggregate demand-based inflation arises when very fast GDP growth pushes the productive potential of the economy. But, with a 2.1% annual GDP growth rate, aggregate demand is too weak to create enough production bottlenecks to ignite widespread inflation across the economy. A second type of inflation, cost-push inflation arises when wage expenses, or oil and fuel expenses, increase rapidly enough to ignite a bout of inflation. For over 10 years, in a short-run, environment "be damned approach," fracking has helped to meet US oil and fuel needs with a lengthy period of relatively stable fuel prices. And, reliance on more international workers has, via decreased US union membership, lowered the wage bargaining leverage of many US workers. Also, these workers increasingly must compete with very smart and productive AI directed-machinery. In cost/benefit comparisons, it is usually much more difficult to generate demand, and create healthy price gains via policy tools, than it is to tame a bout of inflation with tightening monetary policy tools. This helps to explain the chief US economist for Deutsche Bank Securities, Mr. Matthew Luzzetti's cite: "... the Fed chair, 'has become increasingly worried about persistently low inflation and feeding into lower inflation expectations ...'" [01/30/2020 Th 12:28 pm Greenville NC]

  107. Every week, the Times has a new take on the economy. I'm not expert enough to know the truth of the matter, but it's hard to take it seriously when one week we're due for a recession, the next the economy is stronger than ever, and now we're back to worrying.

  108. I guarantee he’ll blame the impeachment. Sad!

  109. I'm sure when the economy eventually turns while under Trump, it will somehow be Hilary's fault....and his base will believe.

  110. “What you’re seeing and what you’re hearing isn’t what’s really happening.” Thus sayeth Donald J. Trump. It’s the greatest economic boom in the history of the world! Fearless Leader said so! Trump said it, I believe it, and that settles it!

  111. Trump is trumpeting at his rallies that this is the strongest economy in US history...which is a lie. No surprise there. But to the average working stiff history doesn't pay the bills. Trump has to go. We need a mentally balanced, honest and responsible person as our POTUS.

  112. I stopped buying stocks and mutual funds a year ago. (buy LOW, sell HIGH). I've been stock piling cash, just waiting for the correction to come, and it's coming !!

  113. trump has us held hostage to his mad economic "policies". between huge deficit spending, tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy and bail outs to farmers and other tools of his trade wars, its going to take a LOT to unwind the damage. of course, he could always be reelected and continue the madness.

  114. For me, the bigger problem is the Ryan / McConnell / Trump 2017 tax cuts is increasing the deficit from $600 Billion to $1 Trillion. The projected ten year increase in the debt is $12 Trillion which is $80,000 per taxpayer. All to be paid for by ourselves, our children, and grandchildren. Every Republican senator voted for it. Not one Democratic senator voted for it.

  115. I don't understand. Aren't we running a 1 trillion dollar annual deficit under Trump. If so, isn't that a "hand grenade" waiting to explode?

  116. No. Because MMT says deficits don’t matter. Deficits only mattered when Obama was in office.

  117. @Rick one and a half trillion, technically

  118. @Rick Well, that's what the Tea Partiers have been saying. Yet they've going strangely silent of late. I wonder why?

  119. Trump's so called economic gains are fueled by a credit card that will be soon expiring.

  120. The tight job market does not translate into economic well-being for the middle class. Uber, Lyft, baristas and other service jobs are sub-employment. There is inflation at the grocery store, in education, medical care and essentials. Expert economists live in cloud nine.

  121. Let’s break the growth numbers down into true comparative %’s. 2.1 approximately a percentage point lower than 3%, but that’s not the proper mathematical way to view it. 2.1 is actually 30% lower than 3. That means minimum tax revenues needed to fund the Republican wealth re-distribution plan are going to miss by 30%! You can expect those CBO numbers on deficit growth to explode over the next couple years.

  122. 'Services are driving growth, while manufacturing lags.' DT is the only US president in recent times who even remotely tried to help people with not so much education and fancy jobs. People who are likely to work in some sort of manufacturing. If this above is right, as it has been for many years, then those people really have no chance of any sort. And it is utterly heartless and patronizing to tell them they should do 'something else', and that their troubles are of their own making, that the current economy is not and will likely never be their friend. Meanwhile, manufacturing is / has been making giant strides in countries like China, Mexico ...

  123. @ss Please tell us the ways DT has "tried to help people with not so much education and fancy jobs." Can you give us specifics because I am not seeing ANY PROGRESS in this area.

  124. @ss If you are Republican then you should know it is not the government's job to help people. You should pull yourself up by your own bootstraps. How do you do that without education, training, assistance programs, child care, free college tuition, good schools for your kids so they can compete in the future? Good question. Voting for millionaires and billionaires who don't have a clue about your situation and don't care until the next time they want your vote isn't the answer.

  125. @Berlin Exile sense being spoken here. It should never be the fault of a Person that their parents failed to provide financial, emotional, or any other kind of support. Not everyone is born into a good situation, but services sure can help those who are in hard times "pull their boot straps up" because we all find ourselves or a friend their at some point. Thanks for your post

  126. So to defeat Trump all the unions have to do is go on strike to make the economy look back. Probably as good an idea as impeachment.

  127. The deficit is exploding and growth is nothing like Trump and the GOP promised if only their tax bill passed. Trickle-down economics has failed yet again. Imagine that. How many times does supply side economics have to fail before Republicans come up with any new ideas? Like Arthur Laffer, they're just stuck in the 1980s. It worked so well then, Reagan had to raise taxes 11 times to make up for the shortfalls.

  128. @Mark McIntyre It will be attempted then fail with every new generation of young adults beset by rising costs, told that is because of 'them' and with little or no knowledge of history, economics, or social consciousness.

  129. Trump is running this nation just as he ran his companies - into bankruptcy.

  130. Question : this 2% growth is not the relevant value, which would be per capita? How does that come out ?

  131. To put it in perspective: The current official German GDP growth rate, adjusted for inflation and seasonal fluctuations, is 0 %. It means Germany is officially in a recession, though the German media and parties tend to downplay it, citing numbers without adjustments of 0.6 %, despite the official 0 % number. The EU and Germany might be worth checking in a few months because until then a potential recession should slowly surface.

  132. Dear Ms Cohen and Swanson: It complicates nothing really for Trump. Why? Because facts do not matter to Trump or his base unless they favor Trumps narrative. AND.. unfortunately... a good number of non-Trump worshiping voters are extremely gullible and will fall for Trumps alternate facts as he and his surrogates spin them out daily in the lead up to the general election.

  133. The Einsteins who wrote this need to read the WSJ journal article. Come on NYT this is too much. WSJ report: WASHINGTON—The U.S. economy headed into 2020 on a solid footing, with growth settling back to the roughly 2% pace that has prevailed during the decade-old economic expansion. Gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced across the economy—grew 2.3% last year, after rising at a seasonally and inflation-adjusted annual rate of 2.1% from October to December, the Commerce Department said Thursday.

  134. @Jonathan tell it to the people working three jobs. An additional trillion in national debt is not going to help the economy. But republicans only rail about debt under democratic presidents. When they raise the deficit, it is all good.

  135. @Jonathan The tax cuts were promised to give us at least 3% growth to offset its costs. So it's not paying for itself. See the problem now.

  136. @Jonathan so in short, this economy is average, but the cost has been reduced environmental regulations, a tax cut that helps some and hurts others, a deficit increase, a rise in hate groups, and so much more. I'll take average economies with improvements to society and the environment, and the average economic growth that always occurs because we have smart entrepreneurs who run the economy, so presidents and governments can focus on making the lives of their citizens better, not the growth potential of corporations.

  137. If you take a look at the graphs than you will see that the tax cut evaporated within a year - but the enormous budget deficits are still here and are what you could consider a permanent stimulus...with no end in sight. It does not take a genius to understand that we are on the wrong path and drastic budget cuts are likely not too far out anymore. The Trump administration is already planning cuts for Medicaid etc. (see today’s news) to address this issue and Mr.Trump asked several times about the gas taxes. I wouldn’t be surprised if he would come up with a tax hike at the pump just like Ronald Reagan after his tax cut created a massive federal income loss...and that is exactly what Mr.Trump’s tax cut did. It would work with a GDP growth >4-5% but we are lightyears away from that. Therefore we are heading into a real crisis here. Little remark to the author of this article: unemployment rates are meaningless without reviewing the workforce participation rate. We are far away in that category from the peak in 2000. Numbers can be deceiving if you take them out of context!

  138. Trump has lost his financial magic that his supporters have for so long claimed he uses for our big-market! What now, "genius?"

  139. Fake news, the great and dear leader would never allow growth to slow. He will use his unmatched wisdom and great mind to alter this fake information.

  140. Presidents do not control the economy. Please stop acting like they do. It just makes you come off as foolishly partisan.

  141. @KW right? at least not here. maybe in communist nations... but then are they presidents? but i think the article still has merit in suggesting a downward economy will make some voters think twice. But agreed, stop not crediting and then blaming things on the president, his effect is more short term on consumers than long term and real.

  142. @KW Our genius President does control the economy. Just ask him. He won't lie.

  143. "The economy’s resilience has been one of the Trump’s administration’s most notable accomplishments......" It is not an accomplishment any more than having nice weather for the World Series was an accomplishment. Trump has had a minimal effect on the economy, with the exception of the tax cuts that produced a deficit-induced bump that was smaller and more fleeting than even skeptics expected. Nor is there any evidence that his dismantling of environmental protections has produced positive growth effects; fixed investment in 2019 was the weakest since the recovery began. The only macroeconomic discontinuity with the Obama years is the ballooning of the federal deficit, which is a direct result of the TCJA.

  144. So basically, growth is right where it was under Obama and right where all the commie lib’rul economists said it would be, it’s less than half what Trump repeatedly promised, and Trumpists will therefore either a) bellow about how growth is higher than under Obama and higher than it is, while simultaneously insisting that, b) groeth eould be much higher except for the Deep State and them commie liberal economists. I wish I could say I was in any way surprised.

  145. Lets compare The compound annual growth rate of GDP was 3.6% during Reagan's eight years. During Reagan's presidency, the federal debt held by the public nearly tripled in nominal terms, from $738 billion to $2.1 trillion.[79] This led to the U.S. moving from the world's largest international creditor to the world's largest debtor nation.[5] Reagan described the new debt as the "greatest disappointment" of his presidency. Bush the senior had to deal with that trickle down, raising taxes and making the hard choices Reagan never made. Now we have a President who is hoping to ride a 8 year wave of 1 trillion dollar deficits a yr hoping the 2.3% GDP makes him look good. This next crash is going to be a hard one, you can only deficit spend AND cut taxes for so long before it collapses the economy.

  146. This is clearly all Donald Trump's fault. But the only growth that Trump cares about is that of the Trump Organization.

  147. Since when has the truth about the economy, or about anything else, mattered to Trump and his buddies? Trump will lie about the economy in tweets, at rallies, in the State of the Union message, wherever. And his base voters will believe him and vote for him in 2020. Message to Chamber of Commerce Republicans: if you don’t want Trump lying and trashing the economy for four more years, maybe you should back another presidential candidate NOW, before even more of your future business plans and hopes go straight down the drain.

  148. Boeing: 2,800 employees out of 153,000, 1.8 percent. 3M: 1,500 employees out of 93,500, 1.6 percent. Disney, Lowe's, Ford... Do you see a pattern here? Trump is lying about the economy.

  149. The economic measures that I use are mixed. Month over year production of concrete and plywood, needed to build stuff, have been flat or slightly downward the last two years as has been corrugated cardboard, needed to ship stuff. Non-coal rail freight is down 10% and truckers are being laid off. All negative signs. The neighbor opposite my drive pours concrete and there is a fleet of vehicles in front of his barn every day so they are busy. And a good friend is a master welder who has had to hire two people to help him and his two sons keep up with the work load. Both positive signs. And then the Shiller P/E ratio for the S&P500 is twice historic average and is at catastrophic bubble stage--can you say "25% correction?" That means prices have far outstripped earnings and that is a negative sign. Put it together and you get...??? Maybe I should cut open a sheep and read the entrails.

  150. the economy is going to collapse. With an added trillion dollar deficit and tax cuts for the rich, the fourth graders at my school could figure out that it won;t sustain. But the MAGAs will be happy. that is what they voted for.

  151. This is the republican party's economy. This is the president's economy. And it's going to get much, much worse before it gets better.

  152. Yes as well as the $1T deficit.

  153. The definition of GDP is wrong. This is very basic and needs to be fixed. I use NYT in my classes and I don't want my students to have wrong information.

  154. @Anachary what's the correct one?

  155. In addition to the comments made by many here about the many problems created by the Trump tax cut, which I agree with, I would like to add the following delicious irony: Getting the US economy to sustainable 3% or (LOL) 4% GDP growth requires increasing immigration.

  156. It most be all that "winning" we're reaping. Still, to paraphrase, we were better four years ago, than we are today. Didn't Reagan say something like that. Hail King Donald.

  157. It's already been pointed out how bad an indicator the GDP is of the economy's general health, since the rewards are so inequitably distributed. Add to this, whatever bump we experienced was financed by funneling a trillion dollars in tax cuts into the coffers of a few billionaires who used it for stock buybacks; nobody else saw a dime. Some of his supporters are so obtuse they'd believe anything, but what is he going to tell the rest of us in November, that the market's at an all time high? How consoling.

  158. Unfortunately all this 'growth' will be paid for in the future at a high interest rate. Cutting taxes bloats the deficit. Suspending environmental concerns will make more people sick and pollute our lakes, rivers, forests. There is little or no investment in the future. It doesn't just 'happen'; it requires taxes. That's how government works. Apologize to your children and grandchildren.

  159. @cd Don't forget that the majority of federal spending (60%, https://www.thebalance.com/u-s-federal-budget-breakdown-3305789) is for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Thus taxes are primarily a transfer of money from younger people earning it to older people using it. It's fair to ask should we tax the earners more or ask boomers to accept less?

  160. @Dr B Agreed ... tho your description is perhaps overly general ... I'm pretty healthy, had minor problem which required therapy and/or drugs ... seems to be difficult to get physical therapy, but drugs ? ... the sky's the limit ... Maybe my experience was not typical, I doubt it ... We need to end lobbying at the scale it presently exists. Another problem is these programs were envisioned when people were expected to live until 75 or 78 max but we are living decades longer - perhaps the problem is fixing itself, as some of us keep working and putting money into the system... Then there's the military ... I guess we need all the money we spend, considering the almost 20 year war we are currently embroiled in .... But hey, that's a good way to employ a lot of late teens/early 20's young people, many of whom do this out of patriotism but if college and a career were more affordable, perhaps some would think twice. It's a mess, without any easy answers. Except perhaps for everybody to listen, accept part of what you demand and understand how many versions of yourself exist in the world.

  161. Would it be heretical to mention, at this moment--brought to you by Alan Dershowitz and, it appears, the entirety of the Republican Party--of the gravest Constitutional crisis since the Civil War, that GDP growth really doesn't matter? Do hopeful Democrats think a bad economy is going to stop the Trump juggernaut, the Republican coup d'etat? The Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court is presiding over the dismantling of our legal system--without making a single objection. So who cares about the economy? If, as it appears to be the case, Trump's lackeys establish the principle that American presidents, or at least this American president, can do anything they want--anything!--to ensure "reelection" (if you can call it that), than the imperfect American experiment with democracy is over. And if we don't have something resembling a democracy, than whether or not the economy grows is besides the point. Unless you are a disciple of Ayn Rand you will understand that without a political system that is reasonably just and somewhat equitable, whether the economy grows by 2 or 3 or 4 percent is irrelevant. Because the next stop on the road to full Trumpism is tyranny. It can't happen here, right?

  162. It just doesn't matter. GOP voters have always believed the lie that Dems are bad for the economy and create giant deficits even though for the last 50 years it has always been the republicans that destroy both the deficit and the economy. stupid is as stupid does. Facts do not matter the the GOP voter and never has

  163. Trump's worshipers were all soooooo convinced that economic growth would "grow us out of our deficit" and be sustained at a 4% or 5% rate of growth. Any economist will tel you that is an totally unsustainable growth rate. But Trump wasn't interested in educated economists; he just wanted to hear his own ignorant views echoed back to him. And his uneducated supporters were happy to accommodate him. His chickens are now coming home to roost. Face the truth, all you Trump lovers. America will pay heck to get our deficit back where it was under Obama.

  164. Let’s hear it for negative growth

  165. Climate change, brexit, coronavirus and more years of Trump as well as his mentor Putin. How do the corporations think they will do as we continue down this path? There will also be diminishing returns on the purchases of politicians, since they are now irrelevant under the new king. The nice part about fascists is that they get really cruel really fast and the extreme nature of it demotivates everyone. Indeed, they are incapable of not being disruptive. I will be very interested in the oligarch wars to see how violent they get.

  166. @Chris You've got a good point - add Boris Johnson to your list of oligarchs!

  167. Actually this is not a bad number. You don't want negative growth that ends in a recession or equally bad an overheated economy that ends in a crash. However, this number masks the brewing disaster ahead. The Trump "miracle" is based on massive gov't, student, consumer and student debt and an insane trade war with the world. If history is any guide it is going to crash. The only question is when and how bad.

  168. @Paul - Don't worry, you will never know because, DJT and is band of enablers will allege that the numbers reported are fake news. In effect, their defense is 'Don't believe the hype!'.

  169. @Rita Harris thank your for your reply. The old expression is true, figure don't lie but liars figure and Trump is a pathological liar. However, as flawed as it is, the GDP number is still the gold standard.

  170. Rita, I don’t believe any of the “numbers” posted during this Trump era.

  171. So what happened to all the job growth that was to be created by the Trump tax cuts? These cuts were great for the 1% and corporations; not so much for the Americans middle class and the poor who need jobs. Trickle-down economics will never work for working class Americans.

  172. @Shimar Or for anybody else either!

  173. @Shimar Obama left employment at near-record levels. There's little room for job growth, even under perfect circumstances — it's mathematically impossible for the economy to grow enough to pay for Trump's trillion-dollar giveaway to the rich. They aren't about to "create jobs" with their extra millions (unless the yacht-building industry employs far more people than I think it does.)

  174. Investment declines when investors--banks, corporations, hedge funds--are worried about the future. There are new things to worry about--global warming, a new war in the middle east, increasing monetary instability, a pandemic, increasing debt.

  175. The boastful tax cut for corporations and the wealthiest among us is not, and has not, paid for itself; it never will. As the coffers in the Treasury continues to be reduced, as the boastful trade deals and the USMCA (NAFTA) are touted and really has not been much different than previously negotiated "deals," our debt has risen to an alarming total. "Under the current system, budget deficits will push overall U.S. federal debt held by the public to $31.4 trillion by the end of 2030, CBO estimated." When Trump is voted out in 2020, it will be up to the Democrats again, to "clean up the mess." As our history has shown, once we are on the right track those "fiscally responsible," Republicans will again be voted back in office to do it all over again.

  176. @DW That'll put the debt on the order of $75,000 per US citizen, and well over $100,000 per taxpayer. Everybody will, effectively, have a second mortagage to pay off. And I doubt that more than half of Americans will remember that is was the GOP that gave it all to the rich, and stuck the taxpayers with the bill.

  177. Well by all means, it's time to increase taxes and regulations on everyone and everything. That'll fix it!

  178. @Midwest Josh Quite correct. We should taxes back to 1950s levels, where the economy was going gangbusters. And re-regulate Wall Street before they engineer yet another financial disaster.

  179. This article does not even mention the Coronavirus. With travel bans, companies closing down factories in China, whole cities in quarantine, the worldwide economic effects could be substantial.

  180. @Dave From Auckland Whether or not the impact is great, it will give the Republicans an excuse. Trump, of course, needs no excuses — he'll just lie.

  181. By just looking at GDP you overlook the many factors at work in the economy. The different sectors of society perform very differently (the super rich, the middle class and the poor). When the super successful perform outstandingly well and poor do outstandingly badly, the average (ie the Gross DP) looks acceptable. Income and wealth disparity, especially in the US, the UK and now in China too, is massive and increasing. Increasingly, Soverign wealth funds, the largest investors and the highest earners, are putting their money into the Bond Market and listed securities. They are not investing in 'Job creating' assets, like factories and commerce. This is reducing the number entry level jobs, as well as not training new employees in the skills needed to make things. Thus total (not necessarily average) wages fall significantly. Tax is not a 'swear word', Government Revenue is desperately needed to fund infrastructure investment, as well as education, defence and research - dont let the Chinese overtake you in high tech, build your own 5G! The best thing a President can do is to impose tax on Capital and higher incomes, as well as start more investment in AMERICA. This will create more jobs in America. Workers pay taxes and spend money in shops! Please don't be fooled by 'Neo Liberal' economics and averages. See T.Piketty "Capital in the 21st. Century". ps Only Mr. Sanders seems to have recognised that the US is gripped by a massive deflationary spiral.

  182. This is a very impressive article. The reporting portion on 2019 vs 2018 is well done, but I've forgotten what caused the horrible performance in the 4th quarter of 2018. I need to research that. The real excellence is the last 2/3 of this piece. The analysis of the causes; the ramifications for our current environment; and the predictions for the future were concise and easy to understand. Hats off to Patricia Cohen and Ana Swanson!

  183. Every day I see a new article somewhere on how to conserve. It's either a pay down your debt article, save for retirement and/or a rainy day, or how to downsize. I don't see as many of the "live large, your economic state will improve" as I remember from my early working days. It's a recognition of our rigged system and an acknowledgement of the downward mobility many witness. I wouldn't expect consumer spending to support our economy much longer.

  184. It has been known for months that the tax revenues coming in are far short of the Trump administration projections. But, don’t worry, if he wins another term he will go after entitlements. He face the game away during an interview in Davos, though Trump now tries to deny it and saws the Democrats will take away your social security. The very party that is responsible for the program. Unfortunately, his followers will believe it. Just as they hav believed his 16,000+ other lies.

  185. I don't agree that this economic news will be bad for President Trump. He'll just lie, repeatedly.

  186. Why does this complicate Trumps pitch? 63 million Americans will believe absolutely everything he would tell them.

  187. Wasn’t this the inevitable result of the destabilizing tariff wars and the trickle down tax cut' Trump’s major and only legislative victory? Voodoo economics on steroids orchestrated by the self proclaimed king of debt. The only monocracy in which he reigns. Average consumers can only take on so much debt to fuel the economy, beneficiaries of the tax heist aren’t about to step up. This is what we get every time Republicans are in charge.

  188. All the predictions are coming true, Mexico’s not paying for the wall, huge national deficit and debt, cuts to the safety net, corruption, violence, foreign policy failure, environmental mismanagement, loss of US prestige abroad, electoral corruption, tax cuts for himself and his rich buddies, impeachment, and finally his economic policies are going the way of all his other business endeavors - down. He’s only ever been good at self promotion, as a marketer, he’s got the easily impressed all figured out. He’s the beginning of the end for the US - history will say this was the presidency that hailed its decline. Stupid has consequences .

  189. @Eric There's time to undo all the damage he's done, if we elect Democrats in November. If he's re-elected, our grandchildren will still be sorting out the wreckage.

  190. I just want to know who trumps going to blame when the economy starts to tank, we all know he don't do blame. Look out coffee boy!!

  191. @Ricky Smith Hillary, Obama, the "deep state", George Soros. Or maybe it's the immigrants. (You know: the usual suspects.)

  192. Rats! Looks like "Supply Side Lucy" pulled the "Tax Cuts Pay for Themselves Football" back again. Oh well, next time is sure to be a field goal.

  193. News brought to you by the same people predicting (hoping for) a recession. If you work in the private sector it’s absolutely hopping. If you have a state or government job I’m sure you don’t notice. Bidness be good, better than it’s been in 25 yrs.

  194. @JOSEPH: The next oil bust in Texas will have to be managed to return enough capital to investors to redeploy to solar cells and electrochemistry.

  195. @JOSEPH I bet it's been good since Obama got the economy humming. Trump's mismanagement of what he inherited is just starting to kick in.

  196. Wait!! Didn’t the good US taxpayers receive a massive tax cut to drive the economy forward?? Oh, never mind; that went to the Oligarchs and we’re still awaiting the “trickle-down” Only the best people...

  197. Imagine how bad the growth would have been without Trump. Can you honestly say that a Democrat and their free everything for everybody would be better thsn 2%? It would be a disaster. If anything, Trump sustained the growth when other countries have been faltering. Some of that faltering is because of Trump, yes, but i would rather take a GDP hit than let China and their communists run roughshod over our intellectual property and secrets. The UN or previous administrations did zero to tackle that problem, now every critic is bemoaning the threat of tariffs. This has to happen.

  198. @Marcin Trump is not even maintaining the growth under Obama and is barely half the growth achieved under Clinton. Maybe the Dems do know something.

  199. I have a lot of confidence that Trump has a great solution for this. We just need to borrow another trillion dollars a year from our kids (I LOVE [email protected]!!) and distribute it to the rich! I mean why not? As far as I can see from Trump's perspective that's a win on all fronts. It makes it more likely that Trump gets reelected, it allows him to divert another billion or two into his own pockets with his corrupt scams, makes his friends richer, and spins up the economy so that it will crash catastrophically just in time for a Democrat to take the blame. Its a playbook run by Republicans for decades so why not?

  200. the economy is a mirage--can some reporters do some work and get behind these cherry-picked numbers--where's the curiosity and general skepticism--as well, what are the environmental costs of this so-called 'expansion'?

  201. @jdawg “the United States is in the midst of an economic boom the likes of which the world has never seen before.” Except, of course, during the Clinton years when it grew at an average annualized rate of 3.8% per year for 8 consecutive years. first post: 01/30/2020 6:47 pm

  202. This won’t make a difference to President Trump He’ll just lie about it, and the minions will believe

  203. It doesn't complicate his pitch. He'll just blatantly lie, and his followers will lap it up as the Fifth Gospel, as they always do.