Since the second quarter of 2020, U.S. economic growth has been strong. This includes a 6.6% increase in the gross domestic product in the second quarter of this year.
Economists don't expect COVID-19 impact to last
However, COVID-19 cases have increased dramatically since the start of July as the delta variant took hold. In June, the number of daily cases fell below 10,000 some days, but it is now regularly more than 100,000, sometimes approaching 200,000.
The dramatically higher number of cases has caused U.S. economic growth to slow, according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book survey. Since July, private-sector economists trimmed their GDP forecast for the third quarter, with the consensus estimate now at 6.8%, down from July's 7.1% expectation. However, they expect economic growth to rebound and increased their fourth-quarter and first-quarter forecasts by 50 basis points and 20 basis points to 5.6% and 3.7%, respectively.