This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 29 January 2021

Date: 09 February, 2021 | By : 

U.S. - Loss of Momentum Sets Up Weak Q1, but Recovery Pace Contingent on Vaccine Deployment

  • Economic data came in largely as expected this week and suggest continued economic recovery.
  • Real GDP growth advanced at a strong 4% annualized rate in the fourth quarter. The loss of momentum toward the end of the quarter, however, sets up a weak reading for growth in the first quarter of this year.
  • An additional 847K workers filed an initial claim for unemployment insurance. The labor market isn't expected to meaningfully recover until the virus is brought under control.
  • The FOMC largely left policy unchanged at its meeting this week. It kept the federal funds rate at the zero lower bound and will continue to purchase Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities at the current rate. See Interest Rate Watch for more detail.


Global - Two Roads Diverged in the Global Economy

  • In what was a relatively quiet week on the international economic data front, two major economies reported real GDP data for Q4-2020. After almost a year since COVID emerged, South Korea's initial headwinds have turned into tailwinds, and the real GDP data reported this week provided evidence that the country's economy weathered 2020 fairly well given the circumstances.
  • Mexico also reported Q4-2020 real GDP data this week, and it showed the ongoing economic challenges facing America's southern neighbor. The pace of decline on a year-over-year basis lessened, but the Mexican economy was still 4.5% smaller in Q4-2020 compared to the year prior.


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