Economy Slowed Below What Trump Promised Because Of His Shutdown

Despite the White House promising more than 3 percent GDP growth in the fourth quarter of 2018, the economy slowed to 2.6 percent growth, in part because of the Trump Shutdown, and economists expect there to be a greater slowdown to come.

The White House repeatedly promised more than 3 percent GDP growth for the fourth quarter of 2018.

Kudlow: “They are 2.6 for Q4. I’m taking the over. I think we’ll get to 3%.” [Varney & Co., Fox Business, 1/4/19]

Hassett: “Yes, fourth quarter is going to be about 3%, that’s right.” [Mornings With Maria, Fox Business, 1/22/19]

Trump’s budget relied on economic growth to hit 3.1 percent this year.

Washington Post: “Trump’s budget assumes even hotter growth in the coming years than Wall Street economists predict, which is significant because this dynamic helps them increase projected tax receipts. It relies on growth hitting 3.1 percent this fiscal year and staying above 3 percent through 2024, a sustained stretch that hasn’t occurred since the 1980s.  That’s an even loftier estimate than Trump’s budget last year, which was widely panned for using fantasy figures.”

White House Press Release On The Economic Report Of The President: “The White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) projects economic growth will increase to 3.1 percent in 2018, remaining above 3 percent through 2020 and adding a cumulative $1.1 trillion to the economy. If fully implemented, President Trump’s economic agenda would lead to 3 percent annual GDP growth on average throughout the next decade.”

During the campaign, Trump promised sustained GDP growth of 6 or 7 percent.

Trump: If we do 6 percent or 7 percent under my plan everybody benefits–” Todd: “We’ve never had a year of 6 percent or 7 percent.” Trump: “But we can do that.” [Meet The Press, NBC, 10/4/15]

Trump: “The fact is that if I can cut the trade deficit from $817 billion…If I cut it in half, right there we’ll pick up 3 to 4 points. You could add that to the 4 or 5 and so we’d be at 8 or 9.” [The Sean Hannity Show, 7/27/18]

Hassett: “Yeah I know. I’ve heard him say it. He wants 5, he wants 6, he wants 7.” [Varney & Co., Fox Business, 10/17/18]

Most economists expect the economy to continue to slow, potentially entering a recession.

New York Times: “This year looks to be off to an even worse start. Many economists expect growth to drop below 2 percent in the first quarter, in part because of the partial government shutdown, which began in December and extended through most of January.”

New York Times: “The Federal Reserve expects growth to slow to 2.3 percent in 2019, and many economists are even more pessimistic.”

Bloomberg: “More than three-quarters of business economists expect the U.S. to enter a recession by the end of 2021, though a majority still estimate the Federal Reserve will continue raising interest rates this year.  Ten percent saw a recession beginning this year, 42 percent project one next year, while 25 percent expect a contraction starting in 2021, according to a semiannual National Association for Business Economics survey…”