economy Markets

US Economy Serves Up Predictably Huge GDP Print. But Does Anyone Care?

The US economy expanded at a record pace in the third quarter, the first read on Q3 GDP showed. At 33.1%, the headline print was ahead of estimates which called for a ~32% annualized gain. The previous record was 16.7%, notched some 70 years ago. The dramatic rebound was expected. The report captures a three-month period during which the world's largest economy attempted to reopen and reorient after the truly catastrophic collapse  that accompanied the pandemic lockdowns. Consumers and businesses were anesthetized by transfer payments and the market was on a morphine drip administered by the Fed. In short, the worst quarter for the world’s largest economy was followed immediately by the "best" (and the scare quotes are there for a reason). While this should go without saying, this does not mean the US economy has recovered pre-pandemic levels. Thursday's headline print would have needed to hit nearly 46% (annualized) to offset the 31.4% annualized contraction logged in the second quarter. And don't forget, the economy contracted in the first quarter too. The bottom line: GDP remains 3.5% below its pre-crisis peak. Nevertheless, the rebound is welcome. Running through t
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