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Economic Growth by Party




The best predictor of economic growth over a four year presidential term is the party in the White house for that period. From 1960 until 2004, the real GDP grew an average of 17% during Democratic presidential terms, and an average of less than 12% during Republican presidential terms. The economy never grew as rapidly as the Democratic average during any single Republican 4-year term, and it never grew as slowly as the Republican average during any single Democratic 4-year term.

There is less than one chance in 64 that these differences could be caused by chance. More about this and other questions as to causation at: Alternative Explanations.

Here are the growths of real Gross domestic product over the four year terms. First, the terms with a Democrat in the White House:

61 - 64 19.86%
65 - 68 21.81%
77 - 80 13.67%
93 - 96 13.53%
97 - 2000 17.87%
.
Mean 17.35%
SD 3.70%

"SD" is the (sample) standard deviation.

Then terms with Republican presidents:

69 - 72 12.38%
73 - 76 10.62%
81 - 84 12.63%
85 - 88 15.98%
89 - 92 8.81%
2001 - 2004 9.56%
.
Mean 11.66%
SD 2.60%

The mean for the entire period, 11 terms, is 13.86%; and the standard deviation is 4.2%.



The raw data are:

Year RGDP (in billions of 2000 $)% increase from previously listed year
1960 2,501.8
64 2,998.6 19.86
68 3,652.7 21.81
72 4,105.0 12.38
76 4,540.9 10.62
80 5,161.7 13.67
84 5,813.6 12.63
88 6,742.7 15.98
92 7,336.6 8.81
96 8,328.9 13.53
2000 9,817.0 17.87
04 10,755.7 9.56


RGDP (real gross domestic product) is from Economic Report of the President - 2006 .. The percent change is from the previously listed year, and calculated by a commercial spreadsheet.