Stock Market Under Donald Trump Remains Slower Than In Barack Obama’s Term, Despite Boasts Of ‘Record’ Highs

Donald Trump speaks.
Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

As 2019 headed toward a conclusion, Donald Trump took to Twitter to boast of what he called “record” gains in the stock market, claiming on December 23 that the market closed “AT ALL-TIME HIGH!”

“What a great time for the Radical Left, Do Nothing Democrats to Impeach your favorite President,” Trump complained.

Reportedly, Trump boasted of stock market gains on Twitter 12 times in December alone.

A new report by the political site Axios, however, suggests that stock market growth has actually slowed compared to its performance under Trump’s predecessor, President Barack Obama, and that to the equivalent point in his term, President George H.W. Bush also oversaw a higher rate of growth in the stock market than has Trump so far.

“Trump uses the stock market’s surge as a barometer of his presidency’s success,” wrote Axios reporter Courtenay Brown, adding that “gains under him lag” compared to Obama’s and Bush’s presidencies after three years in office. The 42.2 percent gain under Trump is only slightly better than gains achieved under President Bill Clinton, who saw the market grow 42.1 percent in the first three years he held the White House.

But in Obama’s record-setting first three years, as the economy pulled out of the 2008 financial crisis, the stock market gained 56.2 percent, purportedly topping the gains made under Trump, who has presided over a market slowdown by comparison.

Barack Obama walks toward the Whole House
The stock market under President Barack Obama (pictured) reportedly outstripped its gains under Trump. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Trump has not only boasted that the stock market in his term is outpacing its performance under any past president, he has also claimed that if he is not reelected in 2020, “there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!”

There was seemingly little evidence for that claim either when Trump made it in June. At that time, stock market performance under Trump was reportedly well behind gains under Obama. Over the first 29 months of their terms, both of the last two Democratic presidents, Obama and Clinton, presided over stock markets that gained value at a more rapid rate than under Trump.

In addition, though Trump purportedly claims that stock market performance is a measure of the economy’s performance, that claim does not apply to a large share of the American public. According to a Gallup survey from April 2019, only 55 percent of Americans own stocks at all, including those who may own stock only as part of mutual funds and retirement accounts, such a 401(k) plans and IRAs.