Sep 16, 2018

Obama vs. Trump's midterm economy

Note: Consumer sentiment index is not seasonally adjusted. Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

The economy is better for President Trump's first midterm election than it was for either of Barack Obama's two midterm elections — largely because it has been steadily improving since the 2008 financial crisis.

Why it matters: In 2010, Democrats lost the House, and in 2014, they lost the Senate — two losses for Obama, and both under weaker economies than Trump has now. Yet it's very possible that Republicans will lose the House under Trump's watch despite the strong economy.

“People get credit for what happens on their watch, whether they deserve it or not," said Doug Holtz-Eakin, a GOP economist. He added, though, that the tax cut and GOP deregulation effort have also helped.

The bottom line: Trump can talk up the strong economy, but if Republicans lose the House on his watch, it will be hard to explain for any other reason than his unpopularity.

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S&P 500 doubled its average return under past presidents during Trump's first 3 years

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

The S&P 500 has had a return of over 50% during President Trump's first three years in office, more than doubling the average return of 23% at the same point in a presidential term since 1928, CNBC reports.

The big picture: The market, which hit record highs across the three major indices, got a sustained lift in 2019 after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell lowered interest rates three times, the first such moves since the end of the financial crisis.

Go deeperArrowDec 26, 2019

A decline in business lending shows the impact of manufacturing's struggles

Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. commercial and industrial lending fell by $9 billion in December, the largest drop in nearly three years, and the total amount of C&I loans declined to levels last seen in May, data from the St. Louis Fed shows.

Why it matters: The decline in lending to commercial and industrial businesses is the latest sign that the recession in U.S. manufacturing and continued struggles in goods-producing sectors of the economy are spreading. The Commerce Department reported that U.S. business investment had contracted for six straight months as of the third quarter, and had the biggest drop since the end of 2015 in Q3.

Go deeper: Manufacturing should bounce back in 2020

Keep ReadingArrowJan 15, 2020

Trump rallies Michigan supporters minutes into his impeachment

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

President Trump called his impeachment a "political suicide march for the Democratic Party" as the House of Representatives cast two fateful votes Wednesday night.

The big picture: Trump became America's third president to be impeached after the House voted on charges of abuse of power and obstruction. But supporters remained unfazed at a rally in Battle Creek, Michigan, showing up through slushy snow wearing MAGA hats and "deplorables" gear to get a look at the president.

Go deeperArrowDec 19, 2019