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Report: US Economy Up 5.7% in 2021 from 2020 Recession

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The U.S. economy grew last year at the highest rate since the Ronald Reagan administration, bouncing back with vigor from the devastating coronavirus recession.

According to a report by the Associated Press, the nation’s gross domestic product increased by 5.7% in 2021. This was the highest calendar-year increase since the 7.2% rise in 1984 following a prior recession.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the economy ended the year by growing at an unexpectedly brisk 6.9% annual rate from October to December as businesses replenished their stocks.

“It just goes to show that the U.S. economy has learned to adapt to the new variants and continues to produce,” said Beth Ann Bovino, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings.

Squeezed by inflation and still gripped by COVID-19 caseloads, the economy is expected to slow this year. Numerous economists have been lowering their projections for the January-March quarter based on the impact of the omicron variant. The International Monetary Fund has forecasted that the country’s growth in GDP will slow to 4% this year.

A lot of U.S. businesses, especially bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, and hotels, are still under the pressure of the omicron that has left thousands of people at home to stay away from crowds.

Consumer spending, which is the economy’s primary driver, is likely to be held back further this year by the loss of government aid to households, which nurtured activity in 2020 and 2021 but has mainly expired.

Additionally, the Federal Reserve made clear Wednesday that it will increase interest rates multiple times this year to fight the most intense inflation rate in nearly four decades. These rate hikes will make borrowing more expensive and slow down the economy.

Last year’s growth was driven by a 7.9% increase in consumer spending and a 9.5% growth in private investment.

For the last three months of 2021, consumer spending increased at a more muted 3.3% annual pace. Private investment was up 32%, helped by increased inventories as businesses stock up to meet the growing consumer demand. The increase in inventories comprised 71% of the fourth-quarter growth.

“The upside surprise came largely from a surge in inventories, and the details aren’t as strong as the headline would suggest,” Kathy Bostjancic, Oxford Economics’ chief U.S. financial economist, said in a research note.

“We are finally building an American economy for the 21st century, with the fastest economic growth in nearly four decades, along with the greatest year of job growth in American history,” said President Joe Biden in a statement.

Following the 2020 pandemic recession, a robust rebound was anticipated for 2021. GDP fell 3.4% in 2020, the highest year-to-year decline since the 11.6% drop in 1946, as the nation was demobilizing following World War II. The emergence of COVID in March of 2020 caused authorities to issue lockdown and shutdown of businesses or reduce their hours. Employers saw a dramatic reduction of 2 million jobs. The economy fell into a severe recession.

But the extremely low-interest rates, massive federal aid, including checks of $1,400 to the majority of households, and the massive vaccinations program revived the economy. Many consumers found the confidence and the financial resources to go back to spending.

The resurgence in demands was intense; it caught businesses by surprise. It was difficult to procure sufficient supplies and workers to handle a rapid rise in the number of orders placed by customers. Since many workers now work at home, the problem became more severe for items needed for home use, from sporting items to appliances to electronic gadgets. And with computer chips in especially short supply, auto dealers were left desperately short of vehicles.

The ports, factories, and freight yards were overwhelmed, and supply chains were choked. Inflation started to rise. In the last twelve months, prices for consumer goods increased by 7%, the highest rate of inflation year-over-year since 1982. Autos, food, and energy were among the products that saw the highest price increases.

Late last year, the economy started to show symptoms of exhaustion. Retail sales, for example, decreased by 1.9% in December. According to the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index in December, manufacturing slowed to the lowest level in 11 months.

The U.S. economy grew last year at the highest rate since the Ronald Reagan administration, bouncing back with vigor from the devastating coronavirus recession.

According to a report, the nation’s gross domestic product increased by 5.7% in 2021. This was the highest calendar-year increase since the 7.2% rise in 1984 following a prior recession.

According to the Commerce Department reported Thursday, the economy ended the year by growing at an unexpectedly brisk 6.9% annual rate from October to December as businesses replenished their stocks.

“It just goes to show that the U.S. economy has learned to adapt to the new variants and continues to produce,” said Beth Ann Bovino, chief economist at Standard & Poor’s Global Ratings.

Squeezed by inflation and still gripped by COVID-19 caseloads, the economy is expected to slow this year. Numerous economists have been lowering their projections for the January-March quarter based on the impact of the omicron variant. The International Monetary Fund has forecasted that the country’s growth in GDP will slow to 4% this year.

A lot of U.S. businesses, especially bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, and hotels, are still under the pressure of the omicron that has left thousands of people at home to stay away from crowds.

Consumer spending, which is the economy’s primary driver, is likely to be held back further this year by the loss of government aid to households, which nurtured activity in 2020 and 2021 but has mainly expired.

Additionally, the Federal Reserve made clear Wednesday that it will increase interest rates multiple times this year to fight the most intense inflation rate in nearly four decades. These rate hikes will make borrowing more expensive and slow down the economy.

Last year’s growth was driven by a 7.9% increase in consumer spending and a 9.5$ growth in private investment.

For the last three months of 2021, consumer spending increased at a more muted 3.3% annual pace. Private investment was up 32% higher, helped by increased inventories as businesses stock up to meet the growing consumer demand. The increase in inventories comprised 71% of the fourth-quarter growth.

“The upside surprise came largely from a surge in inventories, and the details aren’t as strong as the headline would suggest,” Kathy Bostjancic, Oxford Economics‘ chief U.S. financial economist, said in a research note.

“We are finally building an American economy for the 21st century, with the fastest economic growth in nearly four decades, along with the greatest year of job growth in American history,” said President Joe Biden in a statement.

Following the 2020 pandemic recession, a robust rebound was anticipated for 2021. GDP fell 3.4% in 2020, the highest year-to-year decline since the 11.6% drop in 1946, as the nation was demobilizing following World War II. The emergence of COVID in March of 2020 caused authorities to issue lockdown and shutdown of businesses or reduce their hours. Employers saw a dramatic reduction of 2 million jobs. The economy fell into a severe recession.

But the extremely low-interest rates, massive federal aid, including checks of $1,400 to the majority of households, and the massive vaccinations program revived the economy. Many consumers found the confidence and the financial resources to go back to spending.

The resurgence in demands was intense; it caught businesses by surprise. It was difficult to procure sufficient supplies and workers to handle a rapid rise in the number of orders placed by customers. Since many workers now work at home, the problem became more severe for items needed for home use, from sporting items to appliances to electronic gadgets. And with computer chips in especially short supply, auto dealers were left desperately short of vehicles.

The ports, factories, and freight yards were overwhelmed, and supply chains were choked. Inflation started to rise. In the last twelve months, prices for consumer goods increased by 7%, the highest rate of inflation year-over-year since 1982. Autos, food, and energy were among the products that saw the highest price increases.

Late last year, the economy started to show symptoms of exhaustion. Retail sales, for example, decreased by 1.9% in December. According to the Institute for Supply Management‘s manufacturing index in December, manufacturing slowed to the lowest level in 11 months.

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