US economy grows 6.4% in Q1, and it’s likely just the start

The U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.4% rate in the first three months of the year, setting the stage for what economists believe may be the strongest year for the economy in about seven decades.

Growth in the gross domestic product, the country’s total output of goods and services, was unchanged from two previous estimates, the Commerce Department said Thursday, an acceleration from the 4.3% pace of the fourth quarter.

Economists believe that economic growth has continued to accelerate in the current quarter, which ends this month, as vaccinations become widespread and Americans eager to get outside are being welcomed by newly re-opened businesses. Surging activity from consumers is being fueled in part by nearly $3 trillion in financial support that the government has approved since December.

Additional economic data that emerged Thursday also points to a nation that has regained its footing quickly after being thwacked by a global pandemic, though jobless claims remain stubbornly above 400,000.

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