Columnist: US saw smaller decline in GDP than UK, Germany amid coronavirus

The numbers are in — and Democrats won’t like them.

According to Washington Examiner columnist Tim Worstall, the U.S. saw a smaller decline in GDP due to the coronavirus pandemic than countries like the U.K. and Germany — “[c]ontrary to what you might have been told” by the media.

In a column titled, “The US is handling the coronavirus recession much better than Europe,” Worstall explains why “a 32.9% fall in GDP,” as seen in the U.S., “is a smaller decline than a 22.1% one [as seen in the U.K.], or even an 11.9% decline,” as seen in Germany.

Crunching the numbers

As Worstall wrote Friday, “It’s not magic, or deceit, or even American exceptionalism that explains why that 32.9% is actually smaller than 22.1% and 11.9[%].”

In some cases, he explained, media outlets may list the United States’ 32.9% GDP decline beside ostensibly corresponding numbers from European countries — but that framework doesn’t tell the whole story.

It’s impossible to compare America’s 32.9% to the U.K.’s 22.1%, Worstall says, “because the U.S. reports economic changes on an annualized basis (meaning it shows how bad it would be if the quarter continued all year), while everyone else just lists what happened during those three months.”

The columnist goes on:

Removing that trick means that the U.K. saw a 22.1% economic decline in the second quarter, Germany saw an 11.9% decline, and the U.S. economy contracted by “only” 10.6%.

These numbers make clear that the Trump administration handled the coronavirus pandemic well, at least from an economic standpoint. But that’s not the message you’d hear from many in the media.

How did Trump do it?

In his Friday article, Worstall speculated on what has prompted the United States’ relative economic success amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the columnist, it comes down to speed.

“As to why it has been better, one clear and obvious reason has been the speed at which things have been done in the U.S,” Worstall wrote. In contrast, Worstall says “the European Union is only just done arguing about who is going to pay for it all.”

The Examiner columnist said he expects “the U.S. economy to continue to recover better than nearly all other places, simply because it is a more flexible economy to start with.” Of course, that’s only as long as American voters keep economy-crushing Democrats out of the White House.

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