Trump-O-Meter

Grow the economy by 4 percent a year

“We're bringing it (the GDP) from 1 percent up to 4 percent. And I actually think we can go higher than 4 percent. I think you can go to 5 percent or 6 percent.”


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Trump falls short on promise of 4 percent economic growth

Though the economy has grown, Donald Trump's promise to grow the economy to a benchmark of 4 percent has yet to materialize in his first year in office.

During the campaign, then-candidate Trump promised a substantial increase to the country's gross domestic product, the foremost measure of the national economy. We're tracking Trump's vow to raise the GDP to 4 percent annually, though he promised it could go as high as 6 percent.

"We're bringing it (the GDP) from 1 percent up to 4 percent. And I actually think we can go higher than 4 percent. I think you can go to 5 percent or 6 percent," Trump said at an Oct. 19, 2016, presidential debate in Las Vegas.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis' final tally of the 2017 GDP won't be available until late March. But, meantime, Trump's promise has fallen short in each of the three quarters for which we have data.

The economy grew 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017, 3.1 percent in the second quarter and 3.2 percent in the third quarter. Assuming these numbers aren't revised, fourth quarter growth would have to be at least 8.5 percent to reach an annual 4 percent GDP growth rate for 2017, a highly implausible scenario.

"It's safe to say we're not going to hit 4 percent GDP in 2017," said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

That said, some of Trump's economic policies have yet to register their full impact. For instance, the Republican tax plan only went into effect at the beginning of 2018. Trump has also touted his deregulatory efforts' potential to unleash further growth.

We'll continue to monitor this pledge. Meantime, we rate this promise In the Works.

Sources:

Bureau of Economic Analysis data

Interview with Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Jan. 4, 2017