Capitol Report: Measure the economy by the Dow? Buttigieg says ‘no’

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Pete Buttigieg participates in Friday’s presidential primary debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H.

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Americans won’t hear much about stock-market performance and the economy in the same breath if Pete Buttigieg becomes president.

“When I’m president, we’re going to measure the performance of our economy not by the Dow Jones, but by the income growth of the 90%,” the former South Bend, Ind., mayor said in Manchester, N.H., on Friday night as he debated fellow Democratic presidential hopefuls.

A Buttigieg presidency would stand in sharp contrast to Donald Trump’s. In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, Trump hailed stock-market SPX, -0.54% gains, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has called the equity markets the administration’s economic report card.

Buttigieg’s comment came during a discussion of the broader economy and how candidates defined success. They debated ahead of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary on Tuesday, which comes eight days after the Iowa caucuses, from which Buttigieg appears to have emerged a narrow victor over Sen. Bernie Sanders in pledged delegates.

“A good economy is one where children are being lifted out of poverty,” he said.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.94% , which Buttigieg referenced, is up about 16% over the past year.

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