Sorry Donald: The Economy Is About the Same as Usual

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Donald Trump is whining again:

The #FakeNews MSM doesn’t report the great economic news since Election Day. #DOW up 16%. #NASDAQ up 19.5%. Drilling & energy sector way up. Regulations way down. 600,000+ new jobs added. Unemployment down to 4.3%. Business and economic enthusiasm way up- record levels!

Let’s check this out. The Dow is definitely up, but the rest is a little dicier. First up is “Drilling & energy sector way up.” If Trump is talking about energy stocks, he’s wrong: the S&P 500 Energy Sector has been dropping all year and is well below its Election Day level. The real world looks pretty flat too:

Next up: “Regulations way down.” How do you even measure this? Congress has killed off about a dozen Obama regs that took effect a few months ago, but that’s a drop in the ocean. And I assume that routine rulemaking has continued in the meantime. I think it’s safe to say that federal regulations aren’t “way down,” but beyond that there’s no good way to evaluate this so early in Trump’s term.

Next up: “600,000+ new jobs added.” True enough. But not so impressive compared to Obama’s second term:

Next up: “Unemployment down to 4.3%.” That’s true. But once again, nothing to brag about compared to the trendline Trump inherited:

Next up: “Business and economic enthusiasm way up- record levels!” Consumer sentiment is pretty easy to measure. If we give Trump credit for everything since Election Day, he produced a nice jump in December, but nothing much since then:

As for business sentiment, I’m not sure how to measure it. How about looking at business fixed investment in equipment? That should provide a decent idea of how optimistic businesses are feeling right now. Here it is:

Basically, both the stock market and consumer sentiment got a bit of a kick from Trump’s election but have been pretty flat since then. All the other stuff is either normal or a bit lower than Obama’s record. For the last several years the economy has been good but not great. It still is.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

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