On the October 28 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney and guest Stephen Moore, one of Republican nominee Donald Trump's top economic advisers, claimed that third quarter economic growth of 2.9 percent was part of a “horrible” year for the economy and misleadingly claimed growth merely matched expectations. The two concluded that the state of the economy remains “pretty bad” and “lousy” despite continued growth. In reality economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected 2.5 percent growth as did economists polled by Reuters. The Journal also reported that the third quarter number is the fastest rate of quarterly growth over the last two years. From Varney & Co.:
STUART VARNEY (HOST): The reading on economic growth up 2.9 percent in the third quarter, that's annualized at a 2.9 rate of growth. Trump economic adviser Steve Moore is with us. I bet that the Clinton camp is going to be all over this saying, “told ya, told ya, this economy is doing okay.” What say you?
STEPHEN MOORE: Well, no, I don't agree with that at all. I mean look, I was predicting 3 percent growth for the third quarter, the number came in at 2.9. But look at the previous three quarters before that, we were growing at about 1 percent, so what that tells you, Stuart, for the last year the U.S. economy is growing at about one and a half percent, that's a horrible number, that's barely skating out of recession. You look at what's happened in the specifics of this report. You still have investment, which is still pretty lousy. Over the last year or so, it's been down over the last year. One of the interesting things I saw in this report, Stuart, was that actually residential investment actually fell. So that means the housing market is starting to soften again.
MOORE: Now, look by the way, this wasn't stronger than expected. I think most economists said 2.5 to 3 percent for the third quarter. We got 2.9 percent, but again, look at this over the course of the last year. Now, you're right, the headlines of all the newspapers -- because we know where the media is -- they are going to say, “oh you know the growth rate accelerates.” But 2.9 percent, this is now the 10th year in a row, Stuart, the 10th year in a row, the last two Bush years and the first eight years of Obama, that we have not had 3 percent growth in a single year. That's pretty bad.
VARNEY: Yeah 10 years of sub-3 percent growth is lousy, quite frankly. That's lousy.