Barack Obama

January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017

Last updated: April 21st, 2021

Barack Obama was the US president from 2009 through 2017 and the first black president in US history. He was a professor of law at the University of Chicago, before entering politics. He rose to national prominence during his 2004 DNC convention speech.

Obama oversaw distribution of the TARP bailout funds he voted for as senator in a seamless transition from the Bush administration. He continued to address the financial crisis with an $831 billion stimulus package. Healthcare reform in 2010 was his signature legislation.

Summary of Barack Obama’s performance

Below is a table summarizing Barack Obama's cumulative and annualized performance across all the metrics we track. These are for the entirety of Barack Obama's term.

IndicatorCumulative Gain/Loss
NASDAQ262.26%
DOW138.28%
S&P166.28%
Job Growth8.63%
GDP Growth18.62%

Key Policies
  • American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Feb 2009)

  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Mar 2010)
  • Obama “Troop Surge” in Afghanistan (2009 – 2012)

Key Events
  • The Great Recession (start of term – June 2009)

  • Fed begins QE1 (Nov 2008), QE2 (Nov 2010), and QE3 (Sept 2012)
  • Dow closes at record high 15,000 for the first time (May 2013)

Barack Obama's stock market performance

Under Barack Obama’s presidency, the S&P 500 gained 166.28%, the NASDAQ gained 262.26% and the Dow Jones gained 138.28%. Annualized, the S&P 500 gained 13.01%, the NASDAQ gained 17.44% and the Dow Jones gained 11.46%

Here is Barack Obama’s cumulative stock market performance broken out by term.

IndicatorCumulative End of Term 1Cumulative End of Term 2
NASDAQ104.97%262.26%
DOW64.83%138.28%
S&P74.80%166.28%

Stock Performance Chart

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Obama GDP growth performance
During Barack Obama’s presidency, the GDP gained 18.62%. That translates annually as GDP gained 2.17%.

Here is Obama’s cumulative GDP growth performance broken out by term.

IndicatorCumulative End of Term 1Cumulative End of Term 2
GDP Growth8.10%18.62%

GDP Performance Chart

Obama jobs growth performance
During Barack Obama’s presidency, payrolls grew 8.63% cumulatively. That translated to an annualized jobs groth of 1.05%.

Here is Obama’s cumulative job growth performance broken out by term.

IndicatorCumulative End of Term 1Cumulative End of Term 2
Job Growth0.90%8.63%

Job Growth Performance Chart
How we calculate President Obama's data for Facts First?

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.

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