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Report: U.S. economy grew at record 33.1 percent rate in third quarter

covid-19 economy
(© Alexander Borisenko –

The U.S. economy grew at a record annual rate of 33.1 percent in the third quarter, according to data released Thursday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The growth in GDP was registered at $1.64 trillion, to $21.16 trillion for the quarter, which covers the period between July 1-Sept. 30.

The economy had retracted $2.08 trillion, 31.4 percent, in the second quarter – April 1-June 30.

The U.S. economy has technically been in a recession since February. The imposition of stay-at-home orders in several states in response to the initial COVID-19 outbreak beginning in early March was a key root cause of a 5 annual rate percent drop in GDP in the first quarter.

Year-to-year, the ongoing recovery almost got things back to where they were in the third quarter of 2019. Economic output in Q3 2019 was $21.54 trillion, so the Q3 2020 output was 98.2 percent of what we saw a year ago.

The big third quarter brings the economy to a $20.75 billion per quarter GDP average for 2020, still 3.2 percent off the $21.43 billion per quarter GDP average seen in 2020.

The U.S. unemployment rate was at 7.9 percent in September. Ahead of the stay-at-home response, the unemployment rate was at 3.5 percent in March, before rising to a high of 14.7 percent in April, with 23.1 million Americans listed as unemployed at that point.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics counted 12.6 million as unemployed in September.

Back in February, the BLS unemployed figure was 5.8 million.

Story by Chris Graham