Does it feel as if the economy is improving? That can be far enough removed from the typical voter’s life that they do not have the time to suss out the facts. The way to understand is through the actual numbers. They are very encouraging. Take a look.
Our country has made available a coronavirus vaccine for every American. Even though 40 percent of them refused for a variety of reasons, the success of those who have received the vaccine makes a big difference in the economy as our nation recovers from the Coronavirus Pandemic, according to The Politico:
‘Jobless claims dropped by 24,000 to 400,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.’
At its peak last January, we saw 904,000 weekly applications. Since then, the numbers are improving dramatically, falling to 220,000 per week. Prior to the pandemic, which began in March of 2020, unemployment numbers were also 220,000 a week.
Chief Economist Gus Gaucher said that thus far, he had not noticed any effects on the economy coming from “confirmed viral cases, according to The Politico:”
‘The fundamentals for consumers and businesses are still very good.’
The decline in coronavirus cases, due to the effective implementation of a strong coronavirus vaccine program, has meant that many businesses have reopened or increased the hours. After over a year of being stuck around the home, Americans are more than ready to go visit “restaurants, bars, and shops.”
Politico points out that the health crisis is still ongoing:
‘Still the health crisis isn’t over. COVID-19 cases are ticking up as the highly contagious delta variant spreads among the unvaccinated.’
‘The United States is reporting an average of more than 50,000 new cases a day, up from fewer than 12,000 a day in late June. The increase in cases could have economic consequences if governments decide to restrict business activity again or if consumers choose to stay at home as a precaution.’
Unfortunately, a significant number of businesses cannot find employees. There were a record 9.2 million job openings in May.
Our nation’s economy grew at 6.5 percent, which is very strong. That is a second indicator that our economy is solid and growing:
‘The total size of the economy has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level.’
The latest Commerce Department report estimated our gross domestic products (goods and services) improved at a healthy 6.3 percent annual growth in the U.S.’s first quarter of 2021. That number could possibly increase to 7 percent for the year 2021, a 74-year high and a strong third indicator of our economy’s health.
This was less than analysts anticipated. The lower number than expected was due to the business’ ability to restock their inventory via supply chain problems.
The fourth indicator of a strong economy is consumer spending. No jobs, no purchases kills our economy. Fortunately, spending has improved at an “11.8 percent annual rate.” According to Politico’s statistics:
‘By contrast, consumer spending — the main fuel of the U.S. economy — was robust last quarter: It advanced at an 11.8% annual rate. Spending on goods grew at an 11.6% rate, though down from a 27.4% surge in the first quarter.’
‘And spending on services, from restaurant meals to airline tickets, expanded at a 12% rate, up from a 3.9% gain in the January-March period as vaccinations encouraged more Americans to shop, travel and eat out.’
There is a cloud over the economy though as the number of coronavirus cases increases, many the Delta Variant, which is different from the original coronavirus. It has impacted younger people, unvaccinated individuals, and even children. We average 60,000 confirmed new cases per day. Last month that number was 12,000.
The fifth indicator of a strong economy is the number of jobs added to the economy. Last month, companies added 850,000 jobs with a solid 3.6 percent average hour pay increase.
The sixth indicator of a good economy is consumer confidence, which is higher now than any time since the coronavirus pandemic began.
A seventh indicator is a business’s willingness to order goods and inventory.
The trillions of dollars in federal rescue money have helped typical Americans. There has also been a vast increase in wealth for “affluent households” due to home equity and stock market gains.
Still, watchers remain concerned about a potential spike in inflation. However, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen has stated in The Business Insider that it is not a concern at this point. Federal Chair Jerome Powell notes that inflation is strictly limited to:
‘[U]used cars and airline tickets to hotel rooms and auto rentals — that have been distorted by temporary supply shortages related to the economy’s swift reopening. Those shortages involve items like furniture, appliances, clothing and computer chips, among others.’
Three White Lions podcast, Gloria Christie reads her week’s most important news/ commentary stories in the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Gloria Christie Report her newsletter for people on the go. Written in her own unique style with a twist of humor in a briefer version of Bipartisan Report. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery. Find her here on Facebook.