Washington, Feb 25 (EFE) .- The United States’ economic activity grew at an annual rate of 4.1% in the fourth quarter of 2020, which points to an incipient rebound in 2021, but last year as a whole it suffered a fall of 3.5%, reported today the Office of Economic Analysis (BEA).
The 3.5% annual contraction was the largest since the end of World War II, and followed a GDP growth of 2.2% in 2019.
The BEA said that the report “reflects both the continued economic recovery after deep contractions in the first half of the year and the continued impact of the pandemic, including new restrictions and closures of activities.”
In the second of its three calculations of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the agency added a tenth of a percentage point to its preliminary estimate of growth for the fourth quarter of the year, published in January, but kept the annual result unchanged.
The world’s largest economy experienced ups and downs in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with large drops and rebounds on a quarterly basis as a result of the tightening or relaxation of restrictions.
EXPECTED REBOUND BY 2021
Looking ahead to this year, forecasts point to a notable rebound based on the lifting of restrictions imposed to contain the pandemic as the distribution of vaccines accelerates and the foreseeable approval of the new fiscal stimulus package proposed by President Joe Biden.
The latest forecasts from the Federal Reserve (Fed) point to an economic growth in 2021 of 4.2% for the United States, while the Monetary Fund forecasts an expansion rate of 5.1% for this year.
The US central bank has insisted on its intention to maintain the extraordinary monetary support for a long period of time to support the economic recovery.