U.S. Economy Shakes off Virus, Surges 6.4%

Truman Slate

The initial quarter delivered sturdy economic progress in the U.S., placing the phase for what could be a “boom year” as the restoration from the coronavirus pandemic drives shopper expending.

The Commerce Division reported Thursday that gross domestic solution grew six.four% for the initial a few months of the yr on an annualized foundation. Economists experienced been anticipating a six.five% gain.

The overall economy has now expanded for a few straight quarters just after the intense contraction of the next quarter of 2020 when the pandemic gripped the place. Armed with govt relief checks, individuals drove the initial-quarter surge in output.

The initial-quarter GDP report “signals the overall economy is off and working and it will be a growth-like yr,” claimed Mark Zandi chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Obviously, the American shopper is powering the practice and enterprises are investing strongly.”

Consumer expending, which accounts for 70% of GDP, rose 2.six% in the initial a few months the quarter, with a five.four% improve in purchases of goods accounting for most of the progress. Spending on providers rose by one.one% but economists count on it to decide up as more persons are vaccinated and providers that have been off-restrictions occur back again to daily life.

Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, claimed his agency estimates GDP will grow thirteen% in the next quarter and 7.five% for the yr, the best general performance considering the fact that 1951.

“This may well be the idea of the iceberg,” he explained to The New York Situations. “I feel we will see significantly stronger momentum into summer time as overall health conditions keep on to enhance, plan support continues to be in put and employment strengthens.”

The initial-quarter progress left the overall economy within one% of the pre-pandemic peak it arrived at in late 2019. The improve would have been even bigger experienced it not been for a drop in inventories, claimed Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays, noting that supply chain constraints and the semiconductor scarcity have decreased production.

“We’re at the opening phases of what could be a incredibly sturdy six to nine months for the U.S. overall economy as it emerges from the pandemic,” he claimed. “The best is however but to occur.”

Commerce Division, shopper expending, coronavirus, economic progress, GDP

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