by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There is one possible silver lining for President Trump in the dismal economic numbers that have followed the coronavirus lockdowns and jeopardized his reelection: There is nowhere to go but up.
At least that is the feeling among economists aligned with the Trump administration, who expect the easing of economic restrictions to unleash pent-up demand, as well as some experts who support presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“I think the third quarter is going to be huge growth quarter, we agree with Congressional Budget Office, and the four the quarter, the whole second half, we’re going to see a tremendous rebound, going to spill over into 2021,” Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told reporters outside the White House on Tuesday. He later added, “We got 50 states in different phases of reopening, and that’s a plus.”
Trump himself has repeatedly made the case that the third quarter, for which preliminary numbers will be known on Election Day, will mark a “transition” between the current economic doldrums and a period of renewed jobs and growth. “As I said, and I’ll say it 100 times, we’re going to have an incredible year next year, right at the beginning,” Trump told Ford workers in the key battleground state of Michigan. “Even our fourth quarter is going to be very good.” …
Gone is the low unemployment rate and respectable economic growth that was going to be the centerpiece of Trump’s case for a second term. In its place is 36 million jobless claims and counting with a contracting economy, as the coronavirus keeps consumers at home and government-mandated lockdowns designed to mitigate the outbreak force businesses to close.
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