GDP Growth By President

Select an index you want to compare, select the presidents you want to compare and you are good to go!
Joe Biden
Donald Trump
Cumulative GDP Growth Performance By President

The chart below shows cumulative GDP performance by president from the start of their presidencies.

What is cumulative GDP growth? 

Cumulative GDP growth shows the total growth of an economy during a given presidency. For example, when Reagan started his presidency the US GDP was at 5 trillion USD. After 12 quarters of the Reagan presidency, the US GDP had grown to 6 trillion USD so a cumulative gain of 20%.

Annualized GDP Growth Performance By President

The chart below shows annualized GDP growth by president from the start of their presidencies.

What is annualized GDP growth?

Annualized GDP growth takes the cumulative GDP growth of a president over a certain timeframe and scales it to a period of a year. It helps normalize any up and down spikes with GDP and provides a view of average GDP growth performance over the time frame.

Why do we use annualized returns on Facts First?

To level the playing field between presidents that served for significantly different timeframes. For example, a president who served eight years will usually have better cumulative GDP growth than one who served four years simply because he was in office longer. But when you annualize that data you get more of an apples to apples comparison.

How We Calculate Our Presidential Performance Data

We capture the data as soon as it’s available to us – stock market data after daily market close, jobs data once a month and GDP data once a quarter. After verifying the raw data, we then calculate updated cumulative and annualized performance data for the current president (the data for previous presidents have been calculated and verified in advance).

Some metrics are measured daily (like stock market performance), monthly (like jobs growth) and quarterly (like GDP growth). We start measurement of performance for a president from the first full time period after their inauguration. For stock market performance, it is the first stock market day in office. For jobs growth, it’s either first full calendar month in office (so if you are inaugurated in the middle of January, the first full month is February). This ensures a consistent starting point across all presidencies.

Also, read these articles in our Learning Center:

Want to share our charts but need to verify our data?

We are happy to share the raw data and methodologies we use with any media organization that wants to link to or share our charts and data. If that is of interest to you, please contact us.

 (Due the amount of requests, we must limit inquiries and responses to media representatives only.)

Learning Center

How do we come up with our numbers? How can you crunch the numbers yourself? What are the best indicators of an economy’s well-being and what might that information mean to you individually? It’s all in the Learning Center.

Why Do We Use Percentage Gain to Calculate Performance in the Stock Market and Not the Total Point Gain?

The Dow was up 150 points. S&P increased by 30 points. These are the typical headlines we see when we go over stock market news. The media seems obsessed with these point increases and decreases, but do they provide the right perspective? If the Dow gains 150 points from 25000 to 25150 and S&P gains […]

GDP Growth: What’s the Ideal GDP Growth Rate?

Gross domestic product (GDP) is one of the key economic indicators used to measure the economy and track its progress. Often, people equate a high GDP with economic prosperity and a low GDP with a failing economy. However, this isn’t always so. The correlation is not as simple as high is good and low is […]

Measuring Cumulative Performance and Annualized Performance

When analyzing presidential performance, we track various metrics including the stock market, GDP, and jobs growth. In all of these metrics, we use both cumulative and annualized performance. These are both key tools in understanding presidential performance across these key economic indicators. What is cumulative performance? Cumulative growth refers to the total percentage increase of […]