- Economic growth in the first quarter could hit 10%, according to a Federal Reserve tracker.
- That comes with Congress poised to spend another $1.9 trillion to address various areas.
- Manufacturing is at its highest level since 2018, with prices rising and inventories choked.
- Employment remains the main weak spot, though some encouraging signs are emerging.
The U.S. economy has roared back to life in 2021, with first-quarter growth set to defy even the rosiest expectations as another fresh influx of cash looms.
Manufacturing data Monday showed the sector at its highest growth level since August 2018. That report from the Institute for Supply Management in turn helped confirm the notion among economists that output to start the year is far better than the low single-digit growth many had been predicting in late 2020.
The Atlanta Federal Reserve, which tracks data in real time to estimate changes in gross domestic product, now is indicating a 10% gain for the first three months of the year. The GDPNow tool generally is volatile early in the quarter then becomes more accurate as the data rolls in through the period.
That comes on the heels of a report Friday showing that personal income surged 10% in January, thanks largely to $600 stimulus checks from the government. Household wealth increased nearly $2 trillion for the month while spending rose just 2.4%, or $340.9 billion.
Those numbers, along with a burst of nearly $4 trillion in savings, pointed to an economy not only growing powerfully but also one that is poised to continue that path through the year.