US Commerce Dept. Says GDP Grew By 6.4% In Final Reading For First Quarter Of 2021

US Commerce Dept. Says GDP Grew By 6.4% in Final Reading for First Quarter of 2021

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th June, 2021) US Gross Domestic Product expanded by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021, the Commerce Department said on Thursday in its final reading of economic growth in the United States during the January-March period.

"Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021, reflecting the continued economic recovery, reopening of establishments and continued government response related to the COVID-19 pandemic," the Commerce Department said in a statement. "The increase was the same rate as the 'second' estimate released in May."

The Commerce Department issues three GDP readings for each quarter.

Growth from January through March was enabled partly by the US government's assistance payments to individuals, expanded unemployment benefits and Paycheck Protection Program loans distributed to businesses through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act, the statement said.

By comparison, GDP grew by 4.3 percent during the previous fourth quarter of 2020. However, the economy shrank 3.5 percent for all of 2020 due to lockdowns and other coronavirus-related restrictive measures, the statement added.

The Federal Reserve has forecast a 6.5 percent GDP growth for 2021, although it says it does not expect "full employment" - defined by an unemployment rate of 4.0 percent or lower - before 2023. The unemployment rate stood at 5.8 percent at the end of May.