The White House is welcoming the latest GDP figures as a sign of economic recovery in the United States.
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“Today’s GDP numbers are further proof of the progress we’ve had jump starting our economy,” Deputy White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters on Thursday.
Fueled by vaccinations and government aid, the U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.5 percent annual rate last quarter in another sign that the nation has achieved a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession.
The total size of the economy has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level.
“Recent independent forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office and the International Monetary Fund both doubled their projections for America’s economic growth this year to the fastest pace in almost 40 years,” Jean-Pierre said.
“The last time the economy was growing this fast, Ronald Reagan was was telling us it was morning in America and I think I was about five years old.”
The latest figure fell well below the 8 percent-plus annual growth rate that many economists had predicted for the second quarter.
But the miss was due mainly to clogged supply chains related to the rapid reopening of the economy.
Those bottlenecks exerted a larger-than-expected drag on companies’ efforts to restock their shelves.
The resulting slowdown in inventory rebuilding, in fact, subtracted 1.1 percentage points from last quarter’s annual growth.
By contrast, consumer spending – the main fuel of the U.S. economy – surged for a second straight quarter, advancing at an 11.8 percent annual rate. Spending on goods grew at an 11.6 percent rate, and spending on services, from restaurant meals to airline tickets, expanded at a 12 percent pace as vaccinations encouraged more Americans to shop, travel and eat out.