Economy Picks Up As Medical Officials Issue Warnings

Strong growth, virus variants.
March 23, 2021

The U.S. economic recovery is picking up steam as Americans boost their spending, particularly on in-person services hit hard by the pandemic. Economists say the rising number of COVID-19 vaccinations, falling business restrictions, ample household savings, and injections of federal stimulus funds into the economy are driving the gains.

This month, economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal increased their average forecast for 2021 economic growth to 5.95 percent, measured from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the same period this year, from a 4.87 percent projection in February. This would mark the fastest pace in nearly four decades.

The pickup is arriving as some medical officials warn againstdeclaring a premature victory over the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci said he’s concerned about a possible fourth surge in COVID-19 cases as numbers tick up in some states. Fauci said the situation in the U.S. has improved greatly since the intense spike in cases after the winter holidays, but that he still worries the country will “declare victory” over the virus too soon and relax behaviors.

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