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Is a recession coming in 2020 or 2021? Experts continue to debate the conflicting signals, but an equally telling question might be: How does the "Trump economy" compare to Barack Obama's?

President Donald Trump constantly refers to the economy as "strong," "terrific" and the "greatest in the history of our country," but a closer look at the data shows a mixed picture in terms of whether the economy is any better than it was in Obama's final years. The economy is growing at about the same pace as it did in Obama's last years, and unemployment, while lower under Trump, has continued a trend that began in 2011.

The best case Trump can make for improvement since he took office is higher wages. The typical American worker's pay is finally growing more than 3 percent a year, a level not seen since before the Great Recession. Similarly, consumer and business confidence surged after Trump's election and has remained high, and manufacturing output (and jobs) also saw a noticeable jump in 2018 after Trump's tax cut, although manufacturing is now struggling. There's also been a drop in the number of Americans on food stamps.

But in other areas Trump's record does not look as rosy. Government debt and the trade deficit are climbing (while most economists don't worry about the rising trade deficit, Trump made it a central part of his 2016 election campaign), and business investment is faltering as corporate leaders say they are wary of Trump's trade war. The number of Americans lacking health insurance is also ticking up slightly.

As for two of Trump's favorite metrics - stocks and jobs - there is a case to be made that those looked better under Obama, although most economists expected job gains to slow now that the economic recovery is a decade old.

Presidents have only so much control over the economy, but how voters perceive economic conditions and their personal finances can play a key role in how they vote. Lately, Republicans and many wealthy voters rate this economy as the best since the 1990s boom, while Democrats and many lower-income voters are less enthusiastic.

Here's a look at the Trump economy vs. the Obama economy in 12 charts.

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