The rate of rebound in the US economy from the coronavirus-fueled slowdown slowed in the fourth quarter, weighed down by a deadly spate of cases during the holiday season.
Gross domestic product grew 4 percent on an annualized basis, according to figures released Thursday by the US Department of Commerce. Economic output grew 1 percent from the previous quarter, based on the measure used by other major economies.
Economists expected the U.S. economy to grow 4% on an annualized basis, after rising 33.4% in the third quarter, the highest annual growth rate in post-war history .
The United States has proven to be one of the most resilient savings in the face of unprecedented closures during the pandemic. Annual GDP will eclipse its level from the end of 2019 to the middle of this year, the IMF estimated this week. The group also raised its growth forecast in the United States for 2021 by two percentage points to 5.1%.
But a resurgence of the coronavirus, which has sparked a new round of tighter restrictions in parts of the country, weighed on business activity during the home stretch of 2020 and kept the job market on shaky ground while that the deployment of coronavirus vaccines accelerates.
New jobless claims in the United States fell last week, but remained historically high at 847,000, from 914,000 the week before.