President Trump took to Twitter on Monday to tout recent U.S. economic performance as a sign his administration’s conservative policies are working, with a claim economists say isn’t accurate.
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While Trump said the GDP rate, which recently hit 4.2 percent – the best in nearly four years – had eclipsed the unemployment rate of 3.9 percent – a near 18-year low – for the first time in more than a century, experts warn that statistic is a little off.
“I do wonder who on earth told him that GDP growth has never been higher than the unemployment this century. It's not just wrong, it's very, very wrong,” Justin Wolfers, professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan, told FOX Business.
Wolfers responded to Trump on Twitter Monday, pointing out that there are in fact many years in which the GDP growth rate was higher than the unemployment rate throughout the past 100 years, including most recently in the first quarter of 2006.
Wolfers added in a statement to FOX Business that there is no significance in comparing the two statistics, especially considering GDP measures a rate of change while the unemployment rate is a level.
“Perhaps the president meant to make the point that it's good when unemployment is low and GDP growth is high. On that score, I agree,” he said.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, President Barack Obama hit back at the idea that Trump is solely responsible for the economic recovery.
“By the time I left office, household income was near its all-time high, and the uninsured rate hit an all-time low, poverty rates were falling. I mention this just so when you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let's just remember when this recovery started,” he said in a speech on Friday, adding that the job numbers are similar to those seen in 2015 and 2016, when he was in office.
Trump said on Twitter Monday that had a Democrat been in office, GDP growth “would have been minus 4 percent instead of up 4.2 percent.”
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 201,000 in August, marking the 95th consecutive month that employers added jobs.