Friday, September 18, 2020

The U.S. Economy Is Recovering Much Faster Than Expected

The U.S. economy is growing faster than previously expected as the recovery has proved far more durable than thought.

Economists this week reacted to data released this week by upgrading their forecasts for what had already been projected to be a record-shattering third quarter for growth in GDP.

Goldman Sachs economists hiked their third-quarter GDP growth forecast to 35 percent from 30 percent. A big driver: the consumer has proved more resilient to potential drags from fiscal policy and rising infection rates than expected. High levels of savings over the summer may have proved enough to support higher levels of consumer spending.

Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch economists raised their projection for third-quarter growth to 27 percent from 15 percent on Friday. They cited stronger than expected in retail sales, the booming housing market, and better than anticipated hiring trends.

The Conference Board, which produces the well-known index of consumer confidence, forecasts a third-quarter GDP rebound of 32.9 percent.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expect 23.9 percent third-quarter growth, up from 18.3 percent in the previous survey.

The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow model estimate for third-quarter GDP rose to 30.8 percent on September 10, up from 29.6 percent on September 3.

John Carney

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