The delta variant and global bottlenecks in the supply chain should hold back the US economic recovery. Economy

The delta variant and global bottlenecks in the supply chain should hold back the US economic recovery.  Economy
Containers waiting to be unloaded at the Port of Long Beach (California) on October 1.Jae C. Hong (AP)

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The delta version of the coronavirus and a major global bottleneck in supply chains slowed the growth of the US economy in the third quarter of the year. The GDP of the First World Power grew at an annual rate of 2% between July and September (0.5% quarterly), four points lower than in the previous two quarters, due to the stagnation of factors that contributed to GDP gains. was raised. First half of the year: Federal injection of stimuli, generalized pace of reopening companies and increased vaccination rates.

Braking is notorious. GDP grew at a historic rate of 6.3% in the first quarter of the year and 6.7% in the second, thanks to a pandemic rescue plan stimulus check signed by President Joe Biden. During the spring, improving general economic activity and increasing vaccination rates suggested that the pandemic was certainly behind us. But infection levels of the delta type of the virus, multiplied by the resistance of a considerable percentage of the population to vaccination, sowed doubts about a summer resumption. Two additional factors, which emerged last quarter, contributed to the slowdown: a rise in the number of Covid-19 cases and congestion of the global supply chain.

Consumption, a big indicator of an economy’s optimism and fear, fell 1.6% year-on-year in the third quarter, well below the 12% recorded in the previous three months. The rate reflects a decline in spending on non-perishables, the availability of which was limited by shortfalls in supply. Disruptions at ports and disruptions in production and distribution chains triggered inflation and disappointed expansion forecasts, although analysts expect the economy to recover its growth in the last quarter, which coincided with the year’s most intense buying and displacement season. its same.

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If logistical problems are addressed, consumers could save the Christmas season, predictably, thanks to higher wages and savings accumulated in three rounds of federal stimulus (two approved under Trump’s mandate, and the third, In defense of Biden’s plan). According to the Commerce Department, Americans saved at an annual rate of $1.7 trillion (9.57 trillion reais) in August, compared to $1.4 trillion (7.9 trillion reais) in February 2020.

The relative slowdown in growth did not prevent the opening of the stock exchange from showing an upward trend, with the day awaiting the presentation of results from Apple and Amazon, among other important companies. Meanwhile, workers’ unemployment claims fell last week to their lowest level since the start of the pandemic. The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of unemployment benefits fell from 291,000 last week to 281,000 last week.

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About the author: Sarah Gracie

Sarahis a reporter covering Amazon. She previously covered tech and transportation, and she broke stories on Uber's finances, self-driving car program, and cultural crisis. Before that, she covered cybersecurity in finance. Sarah's work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Politico, and the Houston Chronicle.

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