President Donald Trump said he is “prepared for everything” but that “most economists” don’t think a recession is on the horizon as growing fears of a slowdown persist.
“We are doing tremendously well,” the President told reporters on a tarmac in New Jersey before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington. “Consumers are rich, tax cut loaded up with money. I saw Walmart numbers through the roof, better than any poll,” he said.
The comments come amid concerns of a global economic slowdown that could potentiallythreaten Trump’s 2020 reelection bid. The economy has been an important talking point for the President, who often invokes its growth as a way to boost his administration’s popularity. Though the US economy, for now, remains on stable ground, five of the world’s biggest economies are at risk of a recession, and a week of whiplash on Wall Street spiked fears the US economy could be dragged down too.
Trump conceded on Sunday that economies across the world are “not doing well like we are doing, the rest of the world, if you look at Germany, if you look at European Union, frankly, look at the UK, look at a lot of the countries, they are not doing well.” Trump added that “most economists actually say we are not going to have a recession.”
Trump said the US has options on how to handle a recession, but that it would happen only if he had no choice but to take on China.
“If I wanted to make a bad deal and settle on China, the market would go up. But it wouldn’t be the right thing to do,” he explained. “I’m just not ready to make a deal, China would like to make a deal, I’m not ready.”
Two top White House economic advisers on Sunday brushed off fears of a brewing global recession, instead boasting about the state of the US economy under Trump.
“No, I don’t see a recession. And let me add just one theme … Just one theme. We’re doing pretty darn well, in my judgment. Let’s not be afraid of optimism,” Larry Kudlow, the White House’s chief economic adviser, told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet The Press.” In a separate appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Kudlow told host Dana Perino that he didn’t see a recession “at all.”
White House trade adviser Peter Navarro similarly brushed off concerns of an impending recession, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that the yield curve — a critical economic indicator related to US Treasury bonds that, when inverted, often precedes recessions — was not “technically” inverted last week.
Since Trump took office, the stock market has reached record highs and unemployment has stayed at a historic low. But any number of factors could set off a US downturn, including Trump’s trade policy, a weakening global economy, the waning effects of the 2017 tax cuts or even a risk of deflation.
Trump on Sunday wrote on Twitter that the US economy is “the best in the world,” claiming also that it’s “Poised for big growth after trade deals are completed.”
Earlier Sunday, the two officials sought to draw positive attention to the US economy, with Navarro telling Tapper, “What we see now is foreign capital coming to the best game on the globe, which is the Trump economy. It’s going into our stock market.”
Kudlow also looked to refocus attention on economic gains under Trump, saying on NBC, “We had some blockbuster retail sales, consumer numbers towards the back end of last week. Really blockbuster numbers.”
He said despite the worries about a volatile stock market, “most economists on Wall Street towards the end of the week had been marking up their forecasts for the third and fourth quarter. That echoes our view.”