The US economy is surging and life is returning to normal. Consumers have healthy balance sheets and inflation is a hot topic. Companies in hard-hit industries are even talking about having a difficult time finding staff. The Fed seems to be seeing a different picture of the economy though and has no intention of tapering pandemic era stimulus until it’s clear that the economy has returned to maximum employment and inflation is running above 2%.
Succinct Summary: There were a lot of major data points about the economy last week but the biggest news of all seemed to be just how well tech companies did despite the massive economic dislocation. In a quarter where GDP fell at a 33% annualized rate, Apple managed to grow revenue by 11%! Stimulus probably played some role in tech companies’ strong performance, but beyond the stimulus is the fact that COVID has pushed everyone to spend even more time at home and on the internet. The behavioral shifts appear to be long-lasting too. 20 years after the dot com bubble, the internet is still not done reshaping society.
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