Trump Says U.S. Will Have 'Great' Third Quarter Results On Cusp of Election

President Donald Trump said that third quarter GDP figures set to be released just days before the November presidential election would look "great" for the U.S. economy.

Trump told Fox News on Thursday night that the "nice thing" about the coming third quarter GDP data was that it was scheduled for released on October 29, just five days before voters go to the polls.

The president was almost optimistic about the medium term future of the U.S. economy, predicting that it would have a "great year next year" despite weekly unemployment claims rising for the first time in months last week.

Speaking on the Hannity show last night, Trump said: "We're going to have a great year next year. We're going to have a great third quarter.

"And the nice thing about the third quarter is that the results are going to come out before the election."

Store Advertises Closing Sale in New York
A store advertises a sale on July 07, 2020 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Republican strategists have previously told Newsweek that strong third quarter GDP figures could be a major boon for the Trump re-election campaign in the final week of the 2020 cycle.

"It's probably a game-changer for the president, and I think you could see the race tighten immediately, if not Trump moving into the lead because of that," Chris Wilson, CEO of WPA Intelligence, told Newsweek in May.

Firehouse Strategies Partner Alex Conant added that a last minute boost to the U.S. economy would "clearly benefit" the president at the polls, given his re-election campaign's focus on the issue.

The economy has consistently polled as a leading issue for U.S. voters in the approach to the November elections, with Morning Consult pollsters recording that a third of voters felt it was the most important issue facing the U.S.

Another survey released by Ipsos and Reuters on Wednesday revealed that 19 percent of U.S. adults believed the general state of the economy was the most important issue, while a further 9 percent said unemployment and a lack of jobs were the most pressing issues facing the country.

By comparison, 19 percent of polled Americans told pollsters that healthcare was the most important issue, bringing the policy area down on the previous week.

Trump's polling on the economy has regularly outstripped his overall approval and trust ratings. But as the economic rebound from initial pandemic shutdowns has been marred by a resurgence of the coronavirus, the gap between the president and the Democratic nominee Joe Biden has tightened on the issue.

According to a Morning Consult poll released earlier this week, Trump and Biden are now statistically tied on the top election issue, with 44 percent of voters trusting the president more on the economy, and 43 percent saying the same of his election rival.

A Fox News poll published on Sunday gave Biden a 1-point lead over Trump on the economy, with 44 percent of voters trusting him more on the issue, and 43 percent favoring Trump.