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The No-Growth President Exits with No Growth

Jan. 30, 2017 (EIRNS)—The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Jan. 26 that America’s GDP growth in Obama’s last—"you’re so much better off under me"—year, 2016, was again very low.

GDP growth, apparently riding on very large soybean exports to South American countries, due to weather conditions there, was at least positive, though pathetic, at 1.6%. Average weekly real wages for non-supervisory employees (80% of the workforce) dropped for the year; manufacturing lost 63,000 jobs; durable goods orders dropped another 1.4% in December from a year earlier; and drug overdose deaths reached 50,000 for the year.

But GDP growth averaged just 1.9% for the entire Obama presidency, 14% over eight years, whereas FDR, taking office after a great bank crash, saw more than 10% growth in each of his first three years in the White House. No other U.S. president has had such low growth for eight years.

In a reminder of early 2007 conditions, U.S. home sales have suddenly turned down. In December, following the sharp rise in long-term lending (and mortgage) rates, new home sales dropped by 10.4% from November, and were lower than December 2015. The median price has also dipped slightly from the September record of $323,000 (which was, by the way, far above the early 2007 peak of $260,000). Sales of existing homes also dropped, though only by 2.8%, but again breaking a long string of increases.