The U.S. is “leading the world in economic recovery,” President Donald Trump claimed in a tweet on Tuesday, a declaration that economists were swift to rebuff.
“It is tenuous, at best,” Nick Mazing, director of research at data provider Sentieo, told NBC News in an email.
Several measures of economic recovery show that the U.S. has fallen behind China and several other major countries during the global coronavirus pandemic.
With a national unemployment rate of 7.9 percent, the U.S. is faring slightly better than most developed countries, whose jobless rate averages 7.4 percent, according to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
There are countries with better unemployment rates, however, including the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea and Japan, where the national rate ranges from 4.6 percent to 3 percent. These countries had aggressive coronavirus containment plans that reduced their infection rates faster than the U.S. has.
Trump’s claim is even less supported by other measurements. China is leading the world with a reported GDP growth at 11.5 percent last quarter over the same quarter of last year. The U.S. lags far behind, with minus 9 percent.
Inflation in the U.S., a measurement of price increases for consumers, stands at 4.6 percent, compared to an average of 3.9 percent for other OECD nations. That means American wages aren’t going as far to cover bills.
Wall Street has largely recovered its pandemic losses. At Tuesday’s closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 27,772 points, close to its pre-pandemic peak of 29,000 — good news for corporations and their investors.
Yet even here there is a global market that has fared better. Year-to-date, Japan’s Nikkei index on the Tokyo Stock Exchange is up nearly 1 percent, while the Dow is down 1.3 percent.
There are some forecasts that do “point to a very strong Q3,” Mazing said. “But we do not know how this compares globally for the quarter that literally just ended.”