Trump Thinks the U.S. Could See 6% Economic Growth. The Data Says Otherwise.
President Donald Trump is feeling pretty good about the United States’ economic prospects.
On Wednesday, Trump told reporters that he expects to see a 6% annual growth rate. That might not sound like a wild number, until you consider that 6% more than doubles the 30-year average rate of 2.5%. Six percent is also more than triple what the Congressional Budget Office forecasts for the next ten years.
According to Bloomberg, Trump claimed that the combination of high consumer confidence, job creation, and tax cuts would create this considerable growth. Trump claimed that he sees “no reason why we don’t go to 4, 5, even 6%.”
Unfortunately, Trump didn’t explain exactly how this jump would happen, and few economists support his claim. In a Bloomberg survey of 80 economists, only one forecast showed a growth above 4%. The median was 2.5%—which has long been the average. What’s more, the Joint Committee on Taxation found that the potential growth from the GOP tax plan would only add 0.8% to the current forecast over the next decade.
While Trump’s ambition does not appear to be rooted in sound economic analysis, it is not the first time he has painted an overly rosy outlook for the U.S. economy. In August, Trump compared the U.S.’s 2% annual growth over the last decade with other countries that are “unhappy when it’s 7, 8, 9%.” With these other economies as a model, Trump claimed at the time that he thinks “we can go much higher than 3%. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t.” What he failed to mention is that only seven of the close to 200 countries tracked by the IMF have seen more than 7% growth over the last year.