Gross domestic product measures the total value of all goods and services provided by the country in a year, essentially the economic output. The ideal GDP growth rate is between 2% and 3%.
GDP growth was consistently strong during the George W. Bush administration, averaging out to 2.1 percent per year when adjusted for inflation, according to the Hudson Institute. But during the financial crisis, the US GDP plummeted and the economy contracted 2.5 percent in 2009.
The Obama administration then confronted the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression when it initially took office. It passed a massive stimulus package in February 2009 aimed at jumpstarting the economy — and it was successful. The Congressional Budget Office said in a report that GDP growth was higher from 2009-2012 in part due to the package.
Trump has benefited from Obama's economic stewardship, as GDP growth under his watch has consistently been between two to three percent. In 2018, it was 2.9 percent. Economic forecasters, however, expect the nation's steady GDP growth to slow down in 2019, dragged down by trade tensions and weaker growth overseas.