President Obama gifted Donald Trump with a strong and growing economy, but the first Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimate of Trump's presidency shows the weakest growth in three years.
Donald Trump wasted little time in trying to take credit for the record-breaking job growth and strong economy that President Barack Obama bequeathed to him on Inauguration Day, but Trump might not be so anxious to claim the weak numbers contained in the first economic report card of his presidency.
Trump has already failed to best Obama’s record on job creation, and now, he has failed to match the economic growth under Obama as well.
It turns out being president is not as easy as Trump thought it looked, which he admitted in a recent interview with Reuters, saying “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”
Even as Trump promises that his tax cuts will pay for themselves with 3 percent growth, the Commerce Department’s GDP estimate for the first quarter of Trump’s presidency show him falling well short of that number, or of the growth that Obama left him in January:
The US economy started 2017 at a sluggish pace.
It only grew at an annual pace of 0.7% in the first three months of the year, according to the Commerce Department’s report on gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity. It was the slowest quarter of growth since the first quarter of 2014.
Weak consumer spending was the main culprit for the anemic growth, which has become routine for the US economy since the Great Recession ended in 2009. Since then, the US has averaged about 2% annual growth.
That weak consumer spending contradicts the consumer confidence that Trump consistently touts, and may be an indication that his supporters are telling pollsters one thing, while saying something else with their wallets.
Despite all of his talk, Trump has accomplished little in his first 100 days, beyond taking credit for jobs he had nothing to do with creating. Americans are apparently not buying it, literally and figuratively.