Politics

Economists Question Trump's Growth Projections

| by Lauren Briggs

Republican nominee Donald Trump has vowed to more than triple America's economic growth if elected president, but economists question whether that's feasible.

"We're bringing GDP from, really, 1 percent ... and if [Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton] got in, it will be less than zero," Trump said on Oct. 19 at the third and final presidential debate, reports The Hill. "But we're bringing it 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."

Some experts, including Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Mark Zandi, have said Trump's tax cuts and immigration policies, both of which depend on economic growth to remain feasible, would actually add to the national deficit and shrink the economy.

"His growth expectations are not realistic," Zandi said. "The economy's potential growth is 2 percent, and to get stronger growth will require immigration reform that provides a path to legalization for the undocumented and a significant increase in skilled legal immigration. He is strongly opposed to this."

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In the second quarter of 2016, government figures say the economy grew by 1.4 percent. The Federal Reserve does not project the economy to grow by more than 2 percent by 2019, and absolutely no more than 1.8 percent per year, as the economy continues to stabilize.

On his official campaign website, Trump says he will create 25 million new jobs over the next decade and a "dynamic booming economy" by adding 1.2 million jobs per each 1 percent in GDP growth.

The GOP nominee has compared the country's economic potential to countries like India and China that he said are growing at 8 and 7 percent, respectively, but economists point out that the emerging economies are different than the U.S. and have more room for improvement and training.

"They have a lot of reasons why they can hit very fast productivity growth rates," said the Economic Policy Institute's Josh Bivens. "The fact that they're growing fast is totally a function of the fact that they're starting at a much lower level."

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But 4 percent growth could be possible, said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist at Stifel Nicolaus.

"If we can get monetary policy and fiscal policy in line ... I think absolutely we could talk about adding an additional 2 percent," she said.

Sources: The Hill, Donald J. Trump / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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