Trump stock performance falls short of Obama, Clinton

President Donald J. Trump is closing out his time in office with a significant increase in the stock market, but has fallen short of stock gains seen under predecessors former Presidents Barack Obama and President Bill Clinton.

From Trump’s inauguration day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose from 19,827 to 30,930 on Tuesday, a 56 percent increase.

That increase is below the 73.2 percent rise the Dow saw in Obama’s first term, or the 105.8 percent increase under Clinton’s first term.

A similar trend was true for the S&P 500, which gained 67.8 percent under Trump, rising from 2,263 to 3,799. It gained 84.5 percent in Obama’s first term, and 79.2 percent in Clinton’s first term.

The sole exception in the past three decades has been former President George W. Bush, who saw the Dow fall 3.7 percent and the S&P fall 12.5 percent in his first four years in office.

The figure will be unwelcome news to Trump, who frequently touted the stock market’s performance as a sign of his economic acumen and business-minded policies.

The outgoing president still highlighted the market in a farewell address Tuesday.

“The stock market set one record after another, with 148 stock market highs during this short period of time, and boosted the retirements and pensions of hardworking citizens all across our nation,” he said, adding that 401(k)s reached new highs.

“We’ve never seen numbers like we’ve seen, and that’s before the pandemic and after the pandemic.”

Other indicators also show that Trump fell short of several of his major economic campaign promises.

Trump, who campaigned on the unlikely promise to wipe out the $14.4 trillion debt held by the public, oversaw a whopping 50 percent increase in the debt level instead, leaving it at $21.6 trillion.

While a significant portion of that increase was due to emergency spending to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, more than half is attributable to the combination of unfunded tax cuts and increases in domestic and military spending on top of the debt’s previous growth trajectory.

Trump also failed to achieve the 3 percent annual growth rate he promised on the campaign trail and in office, let alone the 4, 5 or 6 percent rates he occasionally touted.

He did oversee the largest quarterly economic growth on record in the third quarter, which rose at an annual rate of 33.1 percent, but that was largely a bounce back from the worst-ever quarter on record with a 31.4 percent drop in the second quarter amid the pandemic and 5 percent the previous quarter.

The one area where Trump’s economic legacy shone was in unemployment, which fell to 50-year lows of 3.5 percent under his watch, and saw historic lows among groups such as African Americans and Latinos.

But as he leaves office, those figures are elevated as a result of the pandemic, with unemployment at 6.7 percent, including 9.9 percent for African Americans and 9.3 percent for Latinos.

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