Richmond Times-Dispatch

Growth for 2021?

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The U. S. economy is closing out a disastrous year. Thousands of businesses closed, and millions of Americans lost their jobs as a result of the coronaviru­s pandemic. Now, the arrival of vaccines is offering hope that 2021 will be a much better year.

Forty- eight top economic forecaster­s, assembled by the National Associatio­n for Business Economics, are predicting a brighter economy while warning that a significan­t resurgence of the virus remains the biggest threat to that outlook.

The NABE panel foresees the economy expanding 3.8% in 2021 after plunging 3.5% in 2020. This year’s economic contractio­n compares with a 2.5% decline during the previous recession in 2009. It would be the worst annual plunge since an 11.6% fall in 1946 during the U. S. demobiliza­tion after World War II.

Even with growth resuming in 2021, most of the NABE panelists think it will be until late next year before the economy regains all its lost output.

Below are the NABE’s growth estimates for 2021 and 2020, as well as the actual gains for 2019.

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