Forecast: What the Economy Will Look Like on Election Day 2012

More

The economy will be better on Election Day 2012, according to he Congressional Budget Office. How much better?

  • Unemployment, currently at 9.4 percent, will have fallen to a fourth-quarter 2012 average of 8.2 percent.

  • Real GDP will have increased 6 percent over its fourth quarter 2010 level

  • Consumer price index will have increased 2.6 percent over its fourth quarter 2010 level

  • Interest rates (on three-month Treasury bills) will have increased from a 2010 average of .1 percent to a 2012 average of 1.1 percent

All that's according to the massive set of economic forecasts released by the CBO earlier this week. CBO has more stats, but jobs, economic growth, expensiveness of goods, and interest rates jump out as broad-stroke predictors of national mood.

The question, then, is whether this improvement is enough to help President Obama win re-election. The directionality should be encouraging to his campaign, but, then again, there's nowhere to go but up. The economy will have grown, but unemployment will remain relatively high. Goods will be more expensive, and interest rates will be higher.

During the past three presidential elections, unemployment has sat in the 4 to 5 percent range (graph here). For historical comparison, in 2008 The Washington Times compiled info on unemployment during past presidential elections. In the past 50 years, the unemployment rate has risen over 7 percent on a presidential Election Day only four times. In three of those instances, a challenger defeated the incumbent president.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Juice Cleanses: The Worst Diet

A doctor tries the ever-popular Master Cleanse. Sort of.

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In