US Economy Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Size With 6.5% Q2 Growth

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2020, file photo, a person passes the office of the California Employment Development Department in Sacramento, Calif. The recession that broke out with onset of the coronavirus pandemic officially ended in April 2021, making it the shortest downturn on record, according to the committee of economists that determines when recessions begin and end. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(AP) — Fueled by vaccinations and government aid, the U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.5% annual rate last quarter in the clearest sign to date that the nation has achieved a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession.  Thursday’s report from the Commerce Department estimated that the nation’s gross domestic product — its total output of goods and services — accelerated in the April-June quarter from an already robust 6.3% annual growth rate in the first quarter of the year. For all of 2021, the economy is expected to expand about 7%. That would be the strongest calendar-year growth since 1984. And it would mark a sharp reversal from last year’s 3.5% economic contraction — the worst in 74 years — as a result of the pandemic.

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