Political News

AP FACT CHECK: Trump on economic growth

Posted October 9

— A claim from the second presidential debate and how it stacks up with the facts:

DONALD TRUMP: "We've had the slowest growth since 1929."

THE FACTS: The recovery from the Great Recession has been punishingly slow for many workers. But is it as dreadful as suggested by Trump— who indicated in his statement that the rebound from the Great Depression in the 1930s was stronger? Not quite.

It has averaged a scant 2.2 percent a year since 2010. Compared to previous recoveries, this particular recovery has been the slowest on record dating back to 1949.

Claims such as Trump's can sometimes emerge from how the stats get calculated. Is he talking about multiyear averages? Excluding recessions? The Republican nominee left out critical details to verify the full accuracy of his claim.

The problem is that growth is unlikely to climb back to a post-World War II average that exceeded 3 percent. The reason has to do with demographics: Aging baby boomers are starting to retire en masse, a drag on overall growth.

The Federal Reserve and the Congressional Budget Office both forecast that growth in the long-term will be 2 percent or slightly lower. It's difficult for any president— Clinton or Trump —to overcome these demographic headwinds.


Contributed by Associated Press Economics Writer Josh Boak.


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