U.S. GDP Up, Jobless Claims Down

By:
Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Apr 29, 2021

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The economy seems to be on the mend, as recent data shows U.S. GDP going up and unemployment claims going down.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that U.S. GDP grew by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021, based on its advance estimate, up from 4.3 percent at the close of the fourth quarter of 2020. The report said that the growth has been largely driven by personal expenditures, particularly durable goods (led by motor vehicles and parts), nondurable goods (led by food and beverages) and services (led by food services and accommodations).

The bureau also reported that Americans have more personal income: That number has increased by $2.36 trillion, or 67.0 percent, in the first quarter of 2021, compared with a decrease of $402.1 billion, or 8.8 percent, in the fourth quarter of 2020. "The increase primarily reflected government social benefits related to pandemic relief programs, notably direct economic impact payments to households established by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act," the bureau reported. Real disposable personal income increased by 61.3 percent in Q! 2021, compared with a decrease of 10.1 percent in Q4 2021.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that, last week, there were 553,000 new jobless claims, a high number that nonetheless is far below what was being reported in the pandemic's earlier days. The three biggest sources of job losses were California, with 75,520 new claims; Virginia, with 42,969; and New York, with 40,380. As of the most recent data, roughly 16.5 million people remain on some form of jobless benefit.

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