In an early morning Twitter message on Saturday, Donald Trump warned of dire consequences for the stock market if he does not win re-election in the 2020 presidential election, declaring “if anyone but me takes over in 2020, there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!”
Other than stating, “I know the competition very well,” Trump offered no evidence or even an argument to support his prediction of a massive stock market crash in the event that he does not win re-election.
But a new report by Bloomberg News appears to show that the crash predicted by Trump is unlikely if he loses to a Democratic candidate, because in recent years, the stock market has actually showed more gains under Democratic Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton than it has during Trump’s term.
“The Dow Jones Industrial Average’s performance so far in Trump’s term has been middling compared with his predecessors,” wrote Bloomberg business correspondent Roc Krasny in the report. And data compiled by MacroTrends, and cited by Krasny, bears out that assertion.
According to the MacroTrends data, 29 months into Trump’s term, the stock market has indeed showed notable gains of 31.3 percent. But that figure appears anemic compared to the gains made in the first 29 months of Obama’s term, when the market zoomed upward by 55.2 percent.
The market also performed better in the first 29 months of Clinton’s presidency, between January of 1993 and May of 1995, rising by 37.6 percent. But Trump would do better if he compared himself to previous Republican presidents. After 29 months of George W. Bush’s term, from January of 2001 to May of 2003, the market plunged downward by 17.5 percent.
Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush fared somewhat better during the first 29 months of his first and only term, with the stock market creeping up 24.1 percent, which still lags behind Trump by 7.2 points.
But as a report by the independent journalism site MinnPost noted, the stock market is not a highly useful bellwether of overall economic performance, because “a rising stock market primarily benefits a relatively small, wealthy investor class.”
Middle class and lower-income Americans are primarily affected by the unemployment rate, rate of job growth, and Gross Domestic Product as indicators of the economy. But data assembled in a report by The Century Foundation shows Trump’s economic performance lagging behind Obama’s in those categories as well.
Comparing the first two years of Trump’s term with the same period during Obama’s first term, TCF found that GDP was higher on average under Obama, the unemployment rate fell faster, and job growth also accelerated more quickly under the Obama administration.
Wage growth began to grow at rate of nearly 3 percent in Obama’s final year, 2016, and shot up even more rapidly in Trump’s first year, at around 3.25 percent, according to the TCF data. But in 2018, under Trump, wage growth for U.S. workers crashed, dropping down to just over 2.5 percent.