With Donald Trump's presidency in the rear-view mirror, economists will begin to assess the job the now former president did in managing the economy.
While conceding it's early, Texas economist Ray Perryman says Mr. Trump is "the first president in a long time to leave office with a net job loss largely due to the pandemic."
Only Herbert Hoover departed office with fewer jobs in the country than when he entered. Dr. Perryman says "the losses could not be avoided" but on the other hand, "our response was very poor and we could have done better economically if we'd done a better job in controlling the virus."
On President Trump's promise to being back manufacturing to the U.S. "it didn't happen, we still have thousands of companies leaving the United States. Perryman continues. "It's not Trump's fault this happened, it's big global forces that drive the economy. The stock market did well setting new records "but not as well as it did in either the Clinton or Obama administrations."
Much of the stock market gains, Dr. Perryman links to expansionary policy from the Federal Reserve, which is independent of Trump -- and Trump has notably even taken steps to weaken the Fed’s independence.
Finally, Dr. Perryman says when historians write about the Trump economic legacy "it's not going to be one that's a very pretty picture."