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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In another sign of the coming economic boom, first-quarter corporate earnings are continuing to blast through expectations.

Why it matters: The rising fortunes of big companies are another element — along with trillions in government spending, vaccine-related reopenings and Fed policy — helping create what could be a record year of economic growth in the U.S.

By the numbers: Of the first 260 S&P 500 companies that reported earnings, 220 have beaten expectations, according to data from S&P Global Market Intelligence.

The expectation-beating companies include some of the world's biggest like:

  • Apple "reported double-digit growth in every single one of its product categories," CNBC summed up.
  • Visa was boosted by growing payment and transaction volume.
  • Alphabet beat expectations on 50% growth in YouTube revenue.
  • JPMorgan benefited as the growing economy reduced bad-loan risk and investment banking fees grew.
  • Procter & Gamble exceeded expectations as people kept buying cleaning products and started buying beauty products again, CNBC reported.
  • Caterpillar beat as sales of construction and mining equipment rose.
  • Intel benefited from increased sales of laptop and desktop computers.
  • Coca-Cola said global demand had reached pre-pandemic levels.

Yes, but: All of these earnings reports are being measured against the first quarter of 2020, just as the shutdowns of the pandemic began to take hold, and these gains are happening during reopenings that are extremely difficult to forecast.

Go deeper: Tech giants show no sign of slowing down

Go deeper

Uber beats Q2 expectations and turns a rare profit

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Uber posted an unexpected profit for the second quarter, and beat analyst expectations with revenue of $3.9 billion and earnings per share of $0.58.

Why it matters: Uber benefited from unrealized gains of $1.4 billion and $471 million from its stakes in Didi and Aurora, respectively—just two of the ride-hailing company's portfolio of such investments.

New York Times subscriptions continue to trend toward non-news products

Photo by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

The New York Times on Wednesday said it added 142,000 paid digital-only subscriptions last quarter, 65,000 of which were for its non-core news products, like cooking, games and audio.

Why it matters: It's the highest percentage of non-core news subscriptions that The Times has added in its history. The Gray Lady has leaned more heavily into non-news products in recent years to offset news cycle turbulence.

The post-pandemic economy has already arrived

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With the recession officially ending in April 2020, we're now 16 months into the recovery and the contours of the post-pandemic economy have taken shape.

Why it matters: While the coronavirus continues to infect roughly 100,000 new Americans every day, it's no longer driving the course of the economy.