|Even with lowered expectations, economic growth was disappointing in the third quarter. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis’s initial estimate, the economy grew by just 2%.
Why it matters: The 2% mark in the 3rd quarter is lower than the 4% we expected and well below the 8% growth we were forecasting in August.
Behind the number: The delta variant surge, supply chain problems, and continuing worker shortage all constrained economic growth. Spending on goods was down, especially on new cars which many manufacturers cannot complete, because they lack important parts like computer chips.
Looking ahead: The economy should grow strongly in the fourth quarter and into 2022. Right now, we see growth of near 5% in the 4th quarter. If persistent problems with the supply chain and the lack of workers lessen, we will finally get a quarter–or maybe more–of growth well higher than that.
—Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce