Trump, banking on strong economy to win reelection, frets over a possible downturn

Trump, banking on strong economy to win reelection, frets over a possible downturn

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. – Mounting signs of global economic distress this week have alarmed President Donald Trump, who is worried that a downturn could imperil his reelection, even as administration officials acknowledge that they have not planned for a possible recession. Trump is banking on a strong economy to win a second term in 2020, and in recent weeks has impulsively lashed out at the Federal Reserve, pressured Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to label China a "currency manipulator," and unexpectedly delayed tariffs on Chinese imports out of fear they could depress holiday retail sales. Yet despite gyrations in the U.S. stock market and economic slowdowns in other countries, officials in the White House, at the Treasury Department and throughout the administration are planning no new steps to attempt to stave off a recession. Rather, Trump’s economic advisers have been delivering the president upbeat assessments in which they argue the domestic economy is stronger than many forecasters are making it out to be. In turn, Trump has sought to use his Twitter pulpit to drown out negative indicators. On Thursday he promoted the U.S. economy as "the Biggest, Strongest and Most Powerful Economy in the World," and, citing growth in the retail sector, predicted that it would only get stronger. He also accused the news media of "doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election." Privately, however, the president has sounded anxious and apprehensive. From his golf club in […]

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