U.S. economy recovers pandemic losses, but faces new test
July 30, 2021
Vaccinations and federal aid helped lift the U.S. economy out of its pandemic-induced hole in the spring. The next test will be whether that momentum can continue as coronavirus cases rise, masks return and government help wanes.
Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic output, grew 1.6% in the second quarter of the year, the Commerce Department said Thursday, up from 1.5% in the first three months of 2021. On an annualized basis, second-quarter growth was 6.5%.
Fueled by strong consumer spending and robust business investment, the growth brought output back to its pre-pandemic level, adjusted for inflation. That is a remarkable achievement, exactly a year after the economy's worst quarterly contraction on record. After the last recession ended in 2009, GDP took two years to rebound fully.