US View: US economic recovery prospects continue to improve

The Conference Board, Inc., 8 pages, April 22, 2021
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US economic recovery prospects continue to improve in the first quarter.

Document Highlights

Following a surge in new COVID-19 cases during the final months of 2020, the severity of the winter resurgence is dissipating. Coupled with the rollout of two vaccines, a $900 billion economic support package approved in late December and, potentially, an additional stimulus package in March, there is reason to be more optimistic about an accelerating economic recovery in 2021. The Conference Board’s baseline US forecast yields a 4.4 percent annual GDP growth rate in 2021 following an estimated 3.5 percent contraction in 2020. Quarterly growth should peak in 3Q21 at 6.4 percent (annualized) as the economy returns to prepandemic levels. We forecast an annual growth rate of 3.1 percent in 2022. However, we also offer upside and downside forecast scenarios due to the uncertainty in the outlook. The upside scenario brings US economic output to prepandemic levels by 2Q21, while in the downside scenario it takes until 2022 to reach this level.

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