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Subject Donald Trump could be the first president since Jimmy Carter to run for re-election during a recession
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Original Message Beyond his legal problems, Donald Trump suddenly faces rising odds of becoming the first president to seek re-election during economic recession since Jimmy Carter.

Until now, Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation has loomed as a singular threat to further erode the president's standing. That reflects both the gravity of a probe that has produced guilty pleas from multiple Trump associates, and the robustness of growth during the first two years of his term.

But the uncertainty on display in gyrating financial markets this week has darkened expectations for Trump's last two years. In the fourth quarter of 2018, forecasters already see growth slowing from the 4.2 percent and 3.5 percent recorded in the second and third quarters, respectively.

For 2019 and beyond, they expect growth to slow progressively further as fiscal stimulus from lower taxes and higher spending winds down. Many predict the economy will lapse into recession in 2020.

"A strong dollar, weaker growth abroad, mounting corporate debt, a slowdown in housing and the ongoing havoc that tariffs are wreaking on global supply chains are each taking a toll," Diane Swonk, chief economist for Grant Thornton LLP, wrote this week. "No one knows for sure which straw will break the camel's back, only that they are piling up."

Swonk has accelerated her previous prediction of recession from the second half of 2020 to the first half. In October, the National Association for Business Economics reported that two-thirds of forecasters it surveyed expect recession by the end of Trump's re-election year.

That would represent a historically rare event – and an ominous one for the president's chances of a second term.

[link to www.cnbc.com (secure)]
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