Gerald Ford

August 9, 1974 - January 19, 1977

Last updated: March 8th, 2021

Vice President Gerald Ford took office without being elected, after the resignation of Richard Nixon. He pardoned his predecessor to prevent ongoing legal actions from interfering with Ford’s ability to govern and then moved to address a weakening economy.

 

Ford inherited a stagflationary economy with rising inflation while GDP contracted. He initially supported a tax increase on top income earners, but the worsening stagflation led him to cut taxes twice.

Summary of Gerald Ford’s performance

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

IndicatorCumulative Gain/Loss
NASDAQ38.06%
DOW23.41%
S&P27.31%
Job Growth2.63%
GDP Growth7.82%

Key Policies
  • Tax Reduction Act (Mar 1975)

  • Energy Policy Conservation Act (Dec 1975)
  • Ford Orders Buildup of US Strategic Oil Reserves (Apr 1976)

Key Events
  • Fall of Saigon to North Vietnam (Mar 1975)

  • Unemployment reaches 8.7% highest level since 1941 (April 1975)
  • Mao Zedong Dies (Dec 1976)

Gerald Ford's stock market performance

Under Gerald Ford’s presidency, the S&P 500 gained 27.31%, the NASDAQ gained 38.06% and the Dow Jones gained 23.41%. Annualized, the S&P 500 gained 10.35%, the NASDAQ gained 14.06% and the Dow Jones gained 8.96%

Here is Gerald Ford’s cumulative stock market performance broken out by term.

IndicatorCumulative End of Term 1Cumulative End of Term 2
NASDAQ38.06%N/A
DOW23.41%N/A
S&P27.31%N/A

Stock Performance Chart

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Ford GDP growth performance
During Gerald Ford’s presidency, the GDP gained 7.82%. That translates annually as GDP gained 3.18%.

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

IndicatorCumulative End of Term 1Cumulative End of Term 2
GDP Growth7.82%N/A

GDP Performance Chart

Ford jobs growth performance
During Gerald Ford’s presidency, payrolls grew 2.63% cumulatively. That translated to an annualized jobs groth of 1.09%.

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

IndicatorCumulative End of Term 1Cumulative End of Term 2
Job Growth2.63%N/A

Job Growth Performance Chart
How we calculate President Ford'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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