This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 30 April 2021

By: Taro Chellaram /Wells Fargo Economics & Financial Report/May 18, 2021

This Week's State Of The Economy - What Is Ahead? - 30 April 2021

U.S. Review U.S. Recovery Is Well on Its Way 

Data released this week showed the U.S. economy expanded at a rapid 6.4% annualized rate in the first quarter. The gain in output leaves the level of real GDP just a stone's throw below its pre-COVID Q4-2019 level (see chart). We project the level of output to eclipse its pre-COVID position in the second quarter and for the remaining output gap to close by the end of the year. Most major areas of the economy expanded in the first quarter, but a considerable boost came from stimulus-fueled consumers. 

U.S. households are flush with cash. Many households received their third, considerably larger stimulus check in March, which caused personal income to surge a record 21.1% during the month. In fact, many households received two stimulus checks during the first quarter, and even with the double-digit annualized gain in real personal consumption expenditures (+10.7%), the large influx of stimulus boosted the personal saving rate to 21% from 13% in the fourth quarter. In total, we estimate consumers are sitting on $2.2 trillion in “excess savings” through March, which is a considerable amount of dry powder at their disposal to fuel what is shaping up to be a consumer-led recovery.




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