It qualifies as good news certainly. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as they say. But it’s not big good news.
Real gross domestic product (that is after inflation) increased at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the third quarter of 2021, the Bureau of Economic Analysis announced today. That’s an increase from the 2.1% increase reported for the quarter after what’s called “the second estimate” in November. And this follows on the 6.7% annual growth rate reported for the second quarter.
The drop from the second to third quarter growth is easily explained. A resurgence of Covid-19 with the spread of the Delta Variant resulted in new restrictions and delays in the reopening of establishments in some parts of the country. As well, in the third quarter, government Pandemic stimulus payments–forgivable loans to businesses, grants to state and local governments, and social benefits (such as extra unemployment benefits) to households all decreased.
The first estimate of Q4 2021 GDP is scheduled for release on January 27, 2022.