Capital Calls: U.S. GDP goes big

2 minute read

People wearing protective masks shop at Macy's Herald Square following the outbreak of COVID-19 in New York City, December 26, 2020. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon

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WASHINGTON, April 29 (Reuters Breakingviews) - Concise insights on global finance.

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TURNAROUND. The U.S. recovery is on fire. The economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.4% in the first quarter of 2021, according to initial government estimates released on Thursday. That beat projections by economists surveyed by Reuters and is the second-fastest pace since the third quarter of 2003 read more .

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Economic data keeps improving. Weekly jobless claims have been dropping, and the unemployment rate was at 6% in March, well off its high of nearly 15%. Consumer spending hit a 14-month high in April. President Joe Biden’s $1.8 trillion package read more , with $1,400 checks to individuals, was key.

This stimulus was about twice the size of what Barack Obama pushed in 2009. And it has contributed to a quick rebound compared to the long slog after the financial crisis. They were different calamities. But it took almost four years after the Great Recession for GDP to recover. This economy is already approaching pre-pandemic levels.

It’s a lesson for the next government in crisis: Go big, or go home. (By Gina Chon)

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Earlier in Capital Calls:

Unilever planned profitability gain is optimistic read more

Standard Chartered’s optimism offers relief read more

Aussie sovereign fund waves its safe hands read more

Samsung showcases power of sprawl read more

Powell’s troublesome poker face read more

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