People on the Right are flying high after President Trump’s first State of the Union address Tuesday night. One of the biggest issues heading into Trump’s 2016 election was the economy.
So how does Trump’s first year stack up to the previous couple of years? Let’s take a look.
The U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) saw 2.6 percent growth in the fourth quarter of 2017 after seeing a 3.2 percent growth in the third quarter. According to the Wall Street Journal, 2017 was “the strongest calendar year for economic growth since 2014, when GDP was up 2.7 percent.”
The stock market is where the U.S. saw it’s biggest increase in the index since the days of President Franklin Roosevelt, according to CNBC. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) saw a whopping 31.2 percent increase during the 2017 calendar year. This is way up from 2016 which saw a 20.6 percent increase in the DJIA, but 16.1 percent of that growth was before the 2016 presidential election. In 2015, the DJIA actually was down 4.1 percent for the year.
“This is all about policy,” Baird chief investment strategist Bruce Bittles said. “You’ve got lower taxes, less regulation and confidence in the economy is high. Things are firing on all cylinders.”
Another indicator of a strong economy is the Consumer Confidence Index (CCI). Last November, the CCI saw a 17-year high (129.5) among Americans when it came to the economy and spending money in it. While December’s CCI saw a slight decrease from the high (122.1), the index bounced back in January moving back near the high (125.4).
“Consumers remain quite confident that the solid pace of growth seen in late 2017 will continue into 2018,” Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, said.
Yet another positive that occurred during Trump’s first year in office was the steady decline of the unemployment rate. The total unemployment rate for 2015 — on average — was 5.3 percent, with a high of 5.7 percent (Jan. 2016) and a low of 5 percent (last four months of 2015). The 2016 calendar year saw a decrease, with an average rate of 4.9 percent. That year saw the high at 5 percent (three separate months) and the low at 4.6 (Nov. 2016).
The last three months of 2017 saw the unemployment rate drop to a staggering 4.1 percent — a percentage not seen since December 2000 when the rate posted its fourth consecutive month at 3.9 percent during President Bill Clinton's last month in office.
In terms of a president’s first year in office, Trump posted the lowest average unemployment rate (4.4 percent) since President Richard Nixon’s first year in office in 1969 (3.5 percent).
The Obama presidency was not a good one in terms of employment for Blacks and Hispanics. Only a year and a half of Obama’s presidency saw black unemployment under 10 percent. The unemployment rate for black people reached an astounding 16.8 percent in March 2010. While numbers did see a decline late in the Obama presidency, December 2017 saw a historic moment when black unemployment reached an all-time low (6.8 percent).
Black unemployment in 2015 averaged 9.6 percent, while averaging 8.4 percent in 2016. The first year of Trump’s presidency saw the black unemployment rate decline from the yearly high of 8.1 percent (Feb. 2017) to 6.8 percent (Dec. 2017). The average black unemployment rate for the year was 7.5 percent.
Hispanics saw their unemployment rate skyrocket during the Obama years reaching 13 percent in August 2009 and staying above 10 percent for three years after.
Hispanics saw their average unemployment rate at 6.6 percent in 2015, with a high of 6.9 percent (Apr. & July 2015) and a low of 6.2 percent (Sept. & Dec. 2015). In 2016, the average unemployment rate for Hispanics averaged 5.8 percent, with the high at 6.2 percent (Apr. 2015) and the low at 5.4 percent (Feb. & July 2015).
Under Trump, the average unemployment rate for Hispanics fell to 5.1 percent, with the last quarter of the year seeing the rate stay under 5 percent, reaching a low of 4.8 percent (four separate months).
All in all, it was a banner year for the economy. Liberals either constantly downplay the economic uptick, or they don’t report the positive changes on air.
Whatever the case may be — with the GOP tax cuts going into full effect — 2018 should be another very lucrative year for the greatest country on the planet.