PUBLISHED FRI, APR 9 2021
The economy has entered a period of supercharged growth, and instead of fizzling, it could potentially remain stronger than it was during the pre-pandemic era into 2023.
Economists now expect the second quarter to grow at a pace of 10%, and growth for 2021 is expected to be north of 6.5%. In the past decade, there have been few quarters where gross domestic product grew at even 3%. Forecasts for 2021 and 2022 were revised higher after Congress approved $1.9 trillion in fiscal spending, on top of an earlier $900 billion package late
That money is now making its way through the economy. Bank of America’s credit card data shows a 67% surge of card spending over last year in the seven days ended April 3, fueled by government Covid stimulus checks and re-openings. But that compares to a bleak period when consumers were in lockdown and frightened by the spreading virus. However, spending is still up 20% over the same period two years ago.
“This economy isn’t coming back. It is back,” said Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a Chicago-based recruitment firm. The first signs of the economic blastoff showed up in March’s better-than-expected increase of 916,000 jobs.
“I tell you this is the most optimistic job market I’ve ever seen. The only thing that causes it not to be great is Covid,” Gimbel said. Once the vaccine is rolled out to mostly everyone who wants it this spring, the hiring picture will be even better, he said. Hiring is also complicated by Covid, and virtual workforce hires don’t always work out.