Economic Progress

Consumer spending, private investment drive US GDP growth

The national flag of the U.S., with U.S. dollars on top, also a stethoscope

Personal consumption increased by 7.9% from the previous year. Image: Unsplash/Bermix Studio

Felix Richter
Data Journalist, Statista
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Economic Progress

  • Since its pandemic-induced slump in 2021, the U.S. economy has bounced back.
  • Increases in personal consumption expenditure, and private domestic investment were the main drivers of the GDP growth.
  • Personal consumption was the largest factor of the GDP, by increasing by 7.9 percent from the previous year.
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What is the World Economic Forum doing to help the manufacturing industry rebound from COVID-19?

The U.S. economy bounced back from its pandemic-induced slump in 2021, growing at the fastest clip since 1984. According to the first preliminary estimate released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on Thursday, real GDP increased 5.7 percent in 2021, more than making up for the 3.4 percent decrease suffered in the previous year.

Increases in personal consumption expenditure (both goods and services) and private domestic investment were the main drivers behind the upswing, as government spending stalled and imports outpaced exports, leading to a negative overall contribution from international trade.

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Personal consumption, by far the largest component of the GDP, increased by 7.9 percent compared to the previous year, thanks to a steep increase in spending on (durable) goods and a more moderate rebound of service spending compared to lockdown-stricken 2020. The following chart breaks down the 2021 GDP into its four components and shows how much each component contributed to the total growth of 5.7 percent.

A bar chart to showing the breakdown of the U.S.'s GDP in 2021
Consumer spending and private investment supplied strong contributions to the U.S.'s GDP in 2021 Image: Statista
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