Dec 7, 2020 - Economy & Business

Economists get more bullish on 2021 U.S. growth

Illustration of an American flag with a dollar overlay

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A group of top economists have perked up their expectations for U.S. growth next year, predicting the economy will bounce back to its 2019 level earlier than expected.

What's happening: The National Association for Business Economics released its latest outlook showing 73% of panelists believe that the economy will have returned to pre-pandemic GDP levels by the second half of 2021.

  • That's a notable improvement from August when more than 60% of the group's economists predicted U.S. GDP would remain below its 2019 level until at least 2022, with nearly 50% expecting the rebound wouldn't happen until the second quarter.
  • Just 18% now expect it will take until the first half of 2022 for the economy to reach its 2019 size.

What they're saying: “NABE panelists have become more optimistic, on balance, with nearly one-third revising their outlook higher based on recent news of effective vaccines,” NABE survey chair Holly Wade said in a statement.

  • “Just over one-third of respondents anticipate more downside risk to economic growth in 2021," said Wade, executive director at NFIB Research Center.
  • “Panelists point to a second wave of COVID-19 cases as their main concern.”
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