TAMU Economist: Change in presidency doesn’t necessarily mean economic upheaval

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 10:17 AM CST
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - “If we’re going to improve the economy, we have to address the virus."

That’s how the Texas A&M Bush School Mosbacher Institute for Trade, Economics, and Public Policy Director, Raymond Robertson describes our economic future. While it’s the same messaging we’ve received from any number of economists, it’s important to note that Robertson doesn’t believe the change in political philosophies for the nation’s top office will have any significant effect on the economy.

“This administration has a very different approach compared to the previous administration on dealing with the virus,” Robertson explains, “so the effect on the economy will most likely be tied to the success that the new president has.”

He says the number one factor in forecasting our economic future will be how soon we can control the spread and continue to re-open parts of our economy that are still shuttered or operating at less than 100% capacity.

Robertson says he was surprised by the small margin of victory. He says that incumbent presidents that get voted out after their first time are usually highly unpopular because of a bad economy. In this case, he tells us, the margin of victory was very close despite one of the worst economies in recent election years.

Over the weekend and into Monday, the markets posted big gains. Robertson says those gains are fueled by both Pfizer’s announcement that a COVID-19 vaccine is making progress and the unofficial final results coming in for the presidential race.

“Wall Street doesn’t like uncertainty,” Robertson says, “so this [the unofficial presidential election results] take some of the mystery out of the market.”

He says while the presidency does not have a large part in the monetary and fiscal policy of the government, it’s the ability to project the tendencies of a known president that fuels economic confidence.

Watch the full interview in the player above.

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