What GDP Has Looked Like During the Midterms—Then and Now

(Bloomberg) -- Now you see it, now you don’t.

Bloomberg took a look at real annualized GDP growth for presidents going back to Lyndon Johnson at the time of the mid-term election during their first term. This third-quarter rate was compared to the most recently updated values to see how revisions over time have shifted GDP since 1966.

Through this lens, history has been kind to President Nixon. In 1970, during the first mid-term congressional elections of his presidency, U.S. GDP was estimated to be 1.4 percent annualized for the third quarter. Nearly five decades later, GDP for Q3 1970 has been revised to 3.7 percent.

On the other side of history was President Reagan. The economy in the third quarter of 1982 was originally reported at 0.8 percent growth, but in the years since this growth assessment evaporated and the economy is now seen as having shrunk 1.5 percent in Q3 1982.

Going into this year’s mid-term elections, third-quarter GDP at 3.5 percent under President Trump is the strongest for any first mid-term since Johnson’s 4.6 percent over 50 years ago.

Only time will tell if the robust growth seen today will remain tomorrow.

What GDP Has Looked Like During the Midterms—Then and Now

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.