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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Declining COVID cases, rising vaccination rates, trillions of dollars in government spending and an accommodative Federal Reserve are coming together to create a year of U.S. economic growth for the record books.

Why it matters: A sustained, surging economy is the best way to erase the brutal legacy of business losses and unemployment caused by the pandemic.

Driving the news: This morning's first look at Q1 U.S. economic growth is expected to top 6%.

  • Year-long forecasts for growth are even higher; Goldman Sachs — in a research note literally titled "Anatomy of a Boom" — predicts more than 7% growth in 2021, a sustained pace not seen in more than 30 years.
  • The bank writes that post-vaccine hopes of economic rebound are changing from "from forecast to fact."

The Federal Reserve also upgraded its view of the economy yesterday and this week's measure of consumer confidence hit its highest reading since the pandemic began.

What's next: More data is coming to bolster the boom case.

  • Retail sales are expected to have surged in March, with Credit Suisse forecasting sales will top the pre-pandemic peak of Feb. 2020, and housing starts should reverse a recent decline.

The bottom line: Get used to lots of economic charts going up and to the right.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Apr 28, 2021 - World

U.S. population growth is on a downward slope

An empty playground in New York City. Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

New data from the U.S. census shows that American population growth in the 2010s was the slowest since the 1930s, and COVID-19 will likely be a further drag.

Why it matters: Demography has always been destiny, and America's sheer size and relatively young age have been vital components to its global influence. An America that grows slower and older will face new challenges around economics and innovation.

Apr 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

Facebook stock spikes on strong Q1 revenue growth

(Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook's stock was up more than 6% in after-hours trading Wednesday, after it reported strong Q1 revenue results, which it attributed to growth in its advertising business. It also exceeded Wall Street expectations on earnings per share.

Yes, but: The tech giant missed Wall Street expectations slightly on user growth, suggesting its consistent user growth throughout the pandemic has begun to slow slightly.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Apr 28, 2021 - Economy & Business

Consumer comfort with returning to normal reaches all-time pandemic high

Data: Investing.com; Chart: Axios Visuals

Tuesday's strong consumer confidence report from the Conference Board wasn't the only good news about U.S. consumers. Data are beginning to show more Americans are getting more comfortable with returning to regular pre-pandemic activities.

Driving the news: Morning Consult's "Tracking the Return to Normal" series reveals all-time highs in consumer comfort across activities including dining, entertainment, sports and more.

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