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Gross domestic product (GDP), which estimates the size of the US economy, grew at an annualized rate of 6.5% in the second quarter of 2021. This growth fell below projections of economic growth nearing 8% — like those of the Atlanta Federal Reserve and the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's survey of professional forecasters — but above projections by the New York Federal Reserve and others. The annualized GDP growth rate measures how much the economy would grow in a year if the quarterly place of growth were maintained for 12 months.

GDP grew 6.5% in annualized terms in the second quarter of 2021.

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GDP grew 1.6% from the first quarter of the year in inflation-adjusted terms. Growth in the second quarter was largely driven by an increase in consumer spending, with spending on services growing at nearly three times the rate that it did last quarter. Domestic investment and government spending both fell from the first quarter of the year, slightly bringing down the growth rate.

In dollar terms, GDP exceeded pre-pandemic levels for the first time, regaining the income lost during the pandemic.

GDP climbed above pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter of 2021.

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This announcement from the Bureau of Economic Analysis comes just 10 days after the National Bureau of Economic Research, the official business-cycle dating committee the government uses to determine the beginnings and ends of recessions, announced that the trough of the pandemic recession began in February 2020 and ended in April 2020. The two-month recession is the shortest in history. This does not mean that the economy has fully recovered. However, any economic downturn in the coming months would be considered a separate recession.

Completely recovering from the pandemic will require more than regaining lost national income. To track the recovery through key indicators including unemployment, inflation, retail sales, government spending, and more, visit the USAFacts Economic Recovery Hub.