US economy grew by 7.4% in the third quarter
The number of applications for unemployment benefits decreased by 40,000 compared to the week before last
The US economy grew 7.4 percent from July to September, the country’s Commerce Department said Thursday. Growth is driven by businesses starting to reopen and consumers with government backing spending again.
The gain in the third quarter partially offset the 9 percent decline between April and June, when much of the country’s economic life was halted by the coronavirus pandemic..
Q3 GDP data is the last major economic report ahead of next Tuesday’s elections. Positive news could help incumbent President Donald Trump fight Democrat Joe Biden by reinforcing the former’s claims that the country is on track for rapid recovery..
Trump on Twitter called the new figure “the largest and best in the history of the country.” “Next year will be fantastic !!! – he wrote. “But Sleepy Joe Biden and his proposed record tax hike will destroy it all. I am so glad that this great indicator (gross domestic product) came out before November 3rd. “.
Biden, for his part, said: “Yes, GDP grew in the last quarter, but the number of visits to food banks is not decreasing, and the level of poverty is increasing. Unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics are still in double digits. The added burden of household responsibilities after Trump’s failed response to the pandemic has forced many women to quit their jobs altogether. “.
“Recovery slows down if it doesn’t stop; and the recovery we see is helping those at the top, but leaving behind tens of millions of working families and small businesses, “he summed up.
When recalculated for the year, the quarterly rate is 33.1 percent, while the usual growth for the country is from 2 to 3 percent per year..
Economists predict that the US economy will grow again in the fourth quarter, but not as quickly as in the third. GDP is expected to be lower by the end of the year than at the end of 2019.
Uncertainty stems from the fact that the country is currently experiencing a rapid daily increase in the number of new cases of coronavirus – from 70,000 and more in recent days. This could stifle economic activity as some states reimpose restrictions.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department on Thursday said 751,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, down 40,000 from a week earlier. The index holds below 800,000 for the second week in a row. According to the Department of Labor, 7.7 million Americans remain jobless, but the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, a significant improvement from the April high of 14.7 percent..