The government uses the ‘annualized’ rate, which assumed the quarterly growth rate would continue for a full year, because it makes it easier to compare numbers of different periods of time.
More work to be done
Much of the economy is growing again, but there are still pockets where things look much more dire.
And the American economy runs on consumer spending, so solving the jobless crisis is a key aspect to returning the economy to its previous strength.
But until businesses are fully reopen and Americans feel no impediment to travel and visit restaurants as they did before Covid-19, getting the jobs and growth stats back to normal will be difficult.
Between January and March, personal incomes increased by $2.4 trillion, or 59%, compared with the final quarter of 2020 — when rising virus infections spurred renewed job losses in the services industry.
The government’s relief efforts including stimulus checks had a lot to do with the rise in incomes, according to the Commerce Department.
For now, people are also still saving more than in pre-pandemic times. The personal savings rate stood at 21% in the first quarter, for a total of $4.12 trillion.