The media hype surrounding any US Presidential election campaign doesn’t, in general, encourage serious economic analysis. The astonishing psychodrama of this epic 2016 contest – which reached a new peak, perhaps, during last week’s final television debate – is drowning out almost any meaningful narrative regarding the state of the US economy.
The world is fixated, of course, on the brutal battle between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This marathon race for the White House, between two incredibly divisive candidates, has cut fissures across the American electorate far deeper than those that have long existed. And there’s still over two weeks to go.
‘The United States of America, right now, has the strongest, most durable economy in the world.” So said Barack Obama last week, in his final State of the Union address. With elections this coming November, this two-term president is now in his last year in office. So what is Obama’s economic legacy? And just how strong is the US economy today?
Obama entered the White House in January 2009, in the midst of America’s worst financial crisis in decades. As his presidency starts to draw to a close, the economic storm clouds are gathering once more. The US stock market, like its British, European and Chinese counterparts, has endured some stomach-churning drops so far this year. The latest was on Friday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average, having rallied the day before, plunged 300 points soon after opening, on a slew of bad economic data.