The US economy is slowing down, with economic growth crawling along at a mere 2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, worsened by Trump’s trade war policies.

Economist Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, is keeping his eye on key swing states such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Trump’s trade tariffs have “done a lot of damage” to American manufacturing.

Fourth-quarter consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, “slowed to an annual gain of 1.8 percent,” he added. “While that was still a solid number, it was down from a spending surge of 4.6 percent in the second quarter and 3.2 percent in the third quarter.”

”The slowdown was led by a drop-off in new car sales,” writes Martin Crutsinger, economic reporter for the Associated Press.

”Business investment spending also fell for a third straight quarter, dropping at a rate of 1.5 percent, a decline that has been blamed on business uncertainty generated by rising trade tensions,” he adds. “For the whole year, GDP increased 2.3 percent, the weakest performance in three years and a slowdown from a 2.9 percent gain in 2018.”

Forecasts for 2020 aren’t expected to improve anytime soon. Instead, 1.8 percent slower growth or worse is threatened from a spreading coronavirus flare-up in the face of further trade tensions between the US and China, Crutsinger said.

The widely read Bloomberg economic survey late last year ran an analysis under this headline: “Trump Boasts on Economy Undercut by Weak Middle-Class Pay Gains,” citing the US Census Bureau as its source.

”By several measures, middle-class Americans’ incomes have risen more slowly under Trump than during Barack Obama’s final years — hardly a period renowned for gangbuster pay increases. Workers should finally be getting big raises with the unemployment rate down to 3.5 percent,” the newsletter observed near the end of last year.

”Trump often claims that wage gains have picked up since he took office. But once inflation is factored in, overall progress on wages doesn’t look much different,” the outlet added later. “Real average hourly earnings under Trump have grown at an annual rate of 1.1 percent through September versus during Obama’s second term.”

Despite Trump’s persistent claims that he has given our country the best economy ever, the statistics don’t support that assertion.

”High-school-educated men still haven’t caught up to their pay in 2000. Their $45,459 median earnings in 2018 was $2,128 lower than their counterparts at the turn of the century. High-school-educated women are further behind, with 2018 median earnings of $32,412, down $2,356,” say the Bloomberg economic researchers.

”Weak pay increases contribute to ‘ambiguous feelings’ about the economy, even as unemployment remains at historic lows,” says Alan Abramowitz, a political science professor at Emory University who studies public opinion and presidential election forecasting.

”What matters politically is the subjective economy, how people feel about the economy,” Abramowitz says. “Real incomes aren’t rising that much, so it’s not obvious that things are that good.”

— Donald Lambro has been covering Washington politics for more than 50 years as a reporter, editor and commentator.

(2) comments


This type of post is aimed at Retirees that have not been to work in a few years an don't know how the economy is 1st hand . It is supposed to convince Uncle Deak an Grandpa Norman that Trump is Bad Bad Bad an folks really are sttttttrugling an Food on the Table an wages low an 3 jobs Oh NO NO Grandpa Vote Democrat. Don't you see the sky is falling. Quick Grandpa Sanders, Do it . Before little Tommy starves to death ,


Wow After reading this I realized that $14hr b4 Trump's election an now the $28.75 hr I make today plus jobs are everywhere , Means nothing The economy really is bad an I won't vote now, Propaganda really works

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.