11 Facts on the Economic Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Introduction: "Despite the headwinds created by the Delta COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] variant, the economy is recovering. Economic growth during the pandemic has generally surpassed consensus expectations while households and businesses have maintained a surprising amount of activity and spending while social distancing. The strength in economic output was, in part, a result of the enormous legislative response to both the pandemic and to the human hardship it caused. This includes laws passed in 2020 and 2021 by Congress, chief among them the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the Consolidated Appropriations Act, and the American Rescue Plan Act. Successive rounds of substantial fiscal support have boosted economic activity since March 2020 and are projected to continue to do so through 2023. To give a sense of the potential impact of federal action on the economy, Edelberg and Sheiner estimated that a package of similar magnitude to the American Rescue Plan would boost economic output by 4 percent in 2021 and 2 percent in 2022. [...] Based on this body of work and the facts in this paper, we draw the following conclusions at this point in the economic recovery. First, the initial rapid economic recovery and expected slowing creates risks that policymakers should heed. Second, fiscal support has been essential to accelerating the recovery. Third, greater federal investment in infrastructure, both physical and human, is key to improving the country's longer-term economic prospects."

Brookings Institution
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