U.S. GDP jumps 6.4 percent in first quarter, showing signs of boom to come

As more people got shots in their arms and more economic aid from the government hit American wallets and bank accounts, ‘gross domestic product, the sum of all goods and services produced in the U.S. economy, jumped 6.4% for the first three months of the year on an annualized basis.‘  It was the best period for GDP since the third quarter of 2003.

According to CNBC:

The boost in GDP came across a spectrum of areas, including increased personal consumption, fixed residential and nonresidential investment and government spending. Declines in inventories and exports as well as an increase in imports subtracted from the gain.

While about 14 million have returned to their jobs since then, the Federal Reserve estimates that some 8.4 million fewer hold jobs now than prior to the pandemic. The unemployment rate has tumbled from its high of 14.7% down to 6%, but that’s still well above the 3.5% in February 2020.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed that another 553,000 Americans filed first-time jobless claims last week. That marked another pandemic-era low but was above the Dow Jones estimate of 528,000.

According to data released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, ‘it appears likely all covid-19 era economic losses will be recovered by the middle of this year.’

The Associated Press reports:

Growth in the current April-June period is expected to be faster still, potentially reaching a 10% annual pace or more, led by an increase in people willing and able to travel, shop, dine out and otherwise resume their spending habits.

A major reason for the brightening expectations is the record-level spending that is poised to flow into the economy. A $1.9 trillion package that President Joe Biden got through Congress in March provided, among other rescue aid, $1,400 stimulus payments to most adults.

On top of that, Biden is proposing two additional huge spending plans: a $2.3 trillion infrastructure package and a $1.8 trillion investment in children, families and education that the president promoted Wednesday night in his first address to a joint session of Congress.

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