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Weekly economic review & outlook Economic growth spurts to start 2021

May 03, 2021

You Need to Know

Week in review

Strong first quarter real GDP growth

With consumer spending boosted by two rounds of stimulus checks and fewer government restrictions on in-person activity, the economy grew strongly during the first quarter.

Fed remains steadfast in policy support

While acknowledging that economic growth and inflation are climbing this year, the FOMC did not signal any change in the projected path for monetary policy at its April policy meeting.

Week Ahead

Forecasts

ISM indices both expected to rise

Although the ISM manufacturing and services indices were both already elevated in March, booming economic growth should lead to even higher levels for April.

Growth in nonfarm payrolls expected to surpass one million

The faster pace of economic activity and fewer government-mandated restrictions should boost growth in nonfarm payrolls to around 1.2 million for April.

The economy grew at a very strong annualized pace of 6.4 percent for the first quarter. Aside from the post-lockdown surge last summer, this was the fastest quarter for real GDP growth since 2003. Consumer spending led the way, surging by an annualized rate of 10.7 percent in response to successive rounds of fiscal stimulus and the gradual reopening of in-person activities. Expenditures on durable goods were exceptionally strong as households spent heavily on autos, furniture, and clothing among other categories. The rebounding housing market also added to growth, extending a strong streak of residential investment.

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