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27th October 2016Trump v Clinton – who’s best for the economy?

When campaigning, Trump majors on his business experience and his considerable personal wealth. He wants voters to believe that his personal success could be translated into a strong economy, benefitting all Americans.  Clinton can’t claim business success, but can point to her role in political initiatives that have brought economic growth and stability.

Trump has already made headlines with some of his views, including his intention to slap punitive tariffs on Chinese imports. He’s also courted voters by proposing tax cuts for all and a reduction in the number of tax brackets. Clinton has said that her focus will be on cutting some taxes, and increasing capital gains tax to pay for new spending programmes designed to stimulate the economy.

A safer pair of hands?

When it comes down to the wire, many believe that the business community will vote for Clinton, not necessarily because they feel more attuned to her policies, but because they don’t like change.

Trump represents uncertainty, and if he were to start ripping up trade deals and riding roughshod over the economy, he could bring chaos to markets. If Clinton is elected, the general view is that the economic landscape wouldn’t radically change.

Experts on the trail

Media giant Bloomberg published a report in 2012 showing that in general, US markets tend to do better under the Democrats. History reveals that they tend to spend more on government initiatives, creating more job opportunities. Their research also shows that every Republican president since the Second World War has had to contend with a recession during their first term.

A recently-released report from the US personal finance website WalletHub, in which analysts compared the state of the economy during Democratic and Republican years 1950 to 2015, found that the US economy has performed best under a combination of a Democratic presidency and a Republican Congress.

It’s the economy

A Gallup survey conducted earlier in the year revealed that the economy remains a major concern to US voters. More than 90% of them said that the economy was extremely important to them, and 89% said the same of jobs and employment.

The economy has strengthened under Obama’s tenure, which may lead many to vote for more of the same under a Clinton administration. However, voters who feel mounting levels of dissatisfaction with the status quo may just decide to cast their vote for radical change under Trump’s leadership.

Opinion polls seem to indicate a widening lead for Clinton, but polls have been spectacularly wrong before and could be again.

The choice for many US electors this time around could prove difficult. It’s said that this race is between the two most disliked candidates in history.

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