The United States 2021 macroeconomic outlook continues to improve, putting it on track to be one of the best-performing economies in the world in 2021 as global economies exit the pandemic. The recovery in employment markets, as measured by the prime-age employment-to-population ratio, continues to slowly creep higher. In March, this rate registered 76.8%, an improvement over the rate from February. Retail sales continue to recover as well, with retail sales up 17.1% from January 2020. Given the paces of vaccinations and reopening, this will likely maintain above pre-COVID levels.

Looking Ahead

The Biden administration continues to pursue an infrastructure bill, which includes spending in many other categories, including for services such as elder care.

Key Forecast Revisions
Consumer Price Index > AVG %YOY
Expect some mild inflation due to price recovery and supply chain issues in the second and third quarter

Key Developments

  • As of April 18, 40% of the US population had received one or more COVID-19 vaccines. Recent trends, with over 3 million vaccines administered per day, would result in all Americans over 18 years old having at least one vaccine by early July.
  • The US is starting to face a new challenge—lack of demand. In surveys, around 30% of Americans have stated that they do not plan to get a COVID vaccine, which may affect the 2021 macroeconomic outlook.
  • The lack of demand has led to a quick relaxation of eligibility requirements. There are now no restrictions based on age or pre-existing conditions in any state.
  • The Biden administration is ending a legal battle with California over motor-vehicle emissions standards, which was started by the Trump administration. This will permit California to set its own state-level emissions standards, which tend to be stricter than federal regulations. Because of the size of the California auto market, this is likely to lead to a tighter national standard.
  • Separately, Biden announced at a virtual climate change summit a new goal of cutting United States greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030. This summit included allies and but also countries such as China and Russia, which have recently had high levels of political tensions with the US.

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