Money and Investing Writer
The US economy is booming, adding nearly 1 million jobs last month, bringing the unemployment rate down to 6%. Goldman Sachs has bumped up its estimate for the US’s 2021 GDP growth to 10%. If true, the US would replace China as the world’s primary driver of economic growth this year.
A strong, robust American consumer would also cause other economies to recover more quickly, especially those we primarily import from, such as Vietnam and Mexico. The Institute of Supply Management factory activity index came in at a 40 year high.
Thank large stimulus spending and a quick vaccinate rollout. 30% of the United States’ population is vaccinated, behind only Israel, Chile, and Bahrain. The stimulus has given increased spending power just as the dam holding back pent-up demand started to burst. Restaurants are fully booked, airport traffic is at pandemic highs, and weed is recreational in New York now.
While it’s true that the current stresses on the global supply chain are projected to cause rising prices (thanks a lot Ever Given) until supply can keep up the markets are brushing off inflation concerns. The S&P 500 closed above 4,000 for the first time, up 19% since the peak we saw before COVID started. The NASDAQ is also staging a comeback as the technology sector begins to find its feet.
Remember when many people wondered out loud how the market could be recovering despite the weak economy last Summer? Let this be the proof that the markets are forward-looking, and the bond markets, in particular, seem to get it right more often than not. The yield curve is the steepest it has been since 2015, and the spread between 2 and 10-year yields continues to expand.
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