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

Joseph B. Hash

The initially quarter sent sturdy economic progress in the U.S., location the phase for what could be a “boom year” as the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic drives purchaser spending. The Commerce Office described Thursday that gross domestic merchandise grew 6.four% for the initially a few months of the calendar […]

The initially quarter sent sturdy economic progress in the U.S., location the phase for what could be a “boom year” as the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic drives purchaser spending.

The Commerce Office described Thursday that gross domestic merchandise grew 6.four% for the initially a few months of the calendar year on an annualized foundation. Economists had been expecting a 6.5% achieve.

The overall economy has now expanded for a few straight quarters immediately after the significant contraction of the next quarter of 2020 when the pandemic gripped the country. Armed with governing administration aid checks, consumers drove the initially-quarter surge in output.

The initially-quarter GDP report “signals the overall economy is off and working and it will be a increase-like calendar year,” stated Mark Zandi main economist at Moody’s Analytics. “Obviously, the American purchaser is powering the prepare and organizations are investing strongly.”

Customer spending, which accounts for 70% of GDP, rose 2.6% in the initially a few months the quarter, with a 5.four% improve in purchases of items accounting for most of the progress. Shelling out on providers rose by 1.1% but economists be expecting it to decide on up as a lot more people today are vaccinated and providers that had been off-boundaries appear back again to lifestyle.

Gregory Daco, main U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, stated his firm estimates GDP will grow 13% in the next quarter and seven.5% for the calendar year, the most effective performance considering the fact that 1951.

“This may well be the suggestion of the iceberg,” he instructed The New York Instances. “I consider we will see significantly more powerful momentum into summer as wellness circumstances continue to increase, coverage assistance stays in spot and work strengthens.”

The initially-quarter progress still left the overall economy inside of 1% of the pre-pandemic peak it attained in late 2019. The improve would have been even larger sized had it not been for a drop in inventories, stated Michael Gapen, main U.S. economist at Barclays, noting that provide chain constraints and the semiconductor shortage have reduced output.

“We’re at the opening stages of what could be a really sturdy six to 9 months for the U.S. overall economy as it emerges from the pandemic,” he stated. “The most effective is even now still to appear.”

Commerce Office, purchaser spending, coronavirus, economic progress, GDP

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