- Raj Shah, a deputy White House press secretary, downplayed concerns about the stock market’s intense sell-off on Monday.
- Shah told reporters that “markets do fluctuate” and that “the fundamentals of this economy are very strong.”
White House officials are downplaying the recent chaos in the stock market, saying it’s a short-term wobble and insisting the US economy remains resilient.
“Look, markets do fluctuate in the short term,” Raj Shah, a deputy White House press secretary, told reporters aboard Air Force One on Monday. “We all know that. And they do that for a number of reasons. But the fundamentals of this economy are very strong, and they’re headed in the right direction – for the middle class, in particular.”
Stocks tanked in trading Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling as much as 1,500 points. That was a continuation of a fall from Friday, which saw the Dow close down just under 666 points.
In a statement later Monday, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders echoed Shah’s sentiment.
“The President’s focus is on our long-term economic fundamentals, which remain exceptionally strong, with strengthening US economic growth, historically low unemployment, and increasing wages for American workers,” Sanders said. “The President’s tax cuts and regulatory reforms will further enhance the U.S. economy and continue to increase prosperity for the American people.”
Analysts have pointed to a slew of reasons for the sell-off, including increasing wage pressures and high valuations.
President Donald Trump has long cited stock market gains as evidence of the positive effect of his presidency on the economy, even going as far as to call the stock market a good report card for his job performance.
In an interview with CNN, Hogan Gidley, another White House deputy press secretary, said that despite Trump’s taking credit for the rise, the drop should not be pinned on the president.
“It’s still in a very strong place,” Gidley said. “It’s still exorbitantly higher than it was when he took office.”
“On Friday, where you referenced, we also saw some really good news in the economy, which is wage growth rising at the fastest pace than it has in any point in eight years, since 2009,” Shah said on Monday. “Unemployment, nationally, is at 4.1%. That’s the lowest level in almost two decades.”
Shah said the recent positive economic news was directly tied to Trump’s policies, touting wage boosts by major companies since the new tax law was enacted.
The law “is leading to hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in the United States,” Shah said. “Hundreds of companies giving additional raises, bonuses, benefits, and everything else to employees. We’re very excited about the strength of the economy.”
For the latest updates on the sell-off, check Markets Insider »
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