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Most Americans Say Wealth Hasn’t Improved During Trump Years

Bloomberg logoBloomberg 6/14/2020 Virginia Van Natta

(Bloomberg) -- The “Trump Bump” hasn’t benefited most Americans, with fewer than one in six saying their personal finances have improved since Donald Trump became president, according to a survey commissioned by Bankrate.com.

Almost twice as many respondents said they’re worse off since Trump moved into the White House in January 2017, while about half of the U.S. adults polled, 45%, said their financial situation has stayed about the same.

Groups likely to report doing better under Trump included men, those identifying as white, and those earning $80,000 or more annually.

Covid-19 is only partly to blame. Three out of five of those surveyed said they failed to see any improvement in their personal wealth during Trump’s presidency, even before the coronavirus slammed the U.S., cratered the economy, and ate into stock market gains of the past three years.

a screenshot of a cell phone: Trump Bump? © Bloomberg Trump Bump?

The benchmark S&P 500 index surged 58% from Trump’s election in 2016 to a record in February, when the start of the pandemic-induced recession began. The benchmark has since fallen 10%, while the jobless rate jumped as high as 14.7% in April from a 50-year low.

“Despite low unemployment before the pandemic, income gains were slow in arriving during what we now understand was a 128-month long expansion,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com. “It has become more difficult to climb the wealth ladder in our country.”

About 42% of those surveyed rated Trump’s overall handling of the economy negatively while 35% say he’s done a good or very good job.

Potential voters were almost evenly divided on which 2020 presidential candidate would be the better bet for their financial future. Trump and Democrat Joe Biden each got a bit more than a third of the support from those surveyed. The rest said neither candidate would be better, or they didn’t know.

Just 35% of those who say their finances have been negatively impacted by the Covid-19 outbreak think their financial situations will improve by November’s election.

The survey of 1,343 adults was conducted June 3-4 by YouGov Plc. No margin of error was specified.

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.


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