FROM THE MAIL TO NEW YORK. “The biggest comeback in history.” If Trump is right to interpret the surprising positive data that came from the occupation yesterday, the prices for his confirmation in November are set to rise again. But there are two questions: first, if the recovery is confirmed and will continue in the coming months; second, if he is strong enough to forget all the other problems, from racial tensions to the health emergency, also muting the serious criticisms of his character and his leadership, which now come from his closest collaborators such as the former boss Pentagon Mattis and former White House chief of staff Kelly.
Analysts had expected unemployment to rise to 20 in May, and instead fell from 14.7% in April to 13.3%. The figure dates back to the middle of the month, and therefore it is likely that in the meantime it has improved, with the reopening. The figure of jobless people, 21 million, remains appalling. Yesterday’s news, however, could indicate that the recession caused by the coronavirus will not be as deep and lasting as many feared.
In the past month, 2.5 million jobs have been created, of which 1.4 in catering, 464,000 in construction, and 312,000 in healthcare. The decline, however, continued in hospitality, losing another 148,000 places, and among the state ones, fell by 585,000 people. One element of uncertainty is that most of the recovered works belonged to employees temporarily suspended, for example from restaurants, with the promise to resume them as soon as they would reopen, but the definitively dismissed increased by 295,000 units. There is therefore the risk that the recovery is sectoral and temporary, while the stop caused by the protests for the killing of George Floyd could slow down the data for the next month. It should be noted that minorities remain more penalized, because unemployment among blacks has risen to 16.8% and among Asians to 15%.
Trump, under weeks under siege, seized the opportunity to celebrate the positive surprise in the Rose Garden of the White House: “It is the confirmation of the work we have done”, not so much to curb the infections, but to encourage reopenings . The negative forecasts “were the most serious calculation error in economic history. We had talked about a V shot, but it’s much better: it’s a space rocket. We will return to having the largest economy in the world. August and July will be very good, and spectacular September. And next year will be one of the best ever. ” Perfect timing, for his re-election in November. In fact, Donald went so far as to use the data also to calm racial tensions, because the recovery helps everyone: «George Floyd is looking down now and says: this is a great thing that is happening to my country. It is a great day for him, and for everyone “.
Trump has always focused on the economy for re-election, and perhaps has delayed interventions against Covid-19 precisely so as not to jeopardize growth. However, if in November the health emergency is over, and the recovery is confirmed, he will be able to set up the campaign on having saved the country, and the risk of changing hands by entrusting it to Biden. For this to be possible, however, it needs a reduction in cases, avoiding the second wave in the autumn, and the continuation of GDP growth and employment, even if not at the pre-crisis levels.
The other unknown concerns his character and his leadership, attacked after the protests by some of his closest former collaborators. According to an IBD / TIPP survey, Trump’s popularity has dropped to 38%, while two findings from the Public Religion Research Institute and the Pew Research Center note that he has lost 15% of support among evangelicals, and 27% among Catholics . It remains to be seen whether the doubts about him will become stronger than the economic results.