The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 6.7% in the second quarter of this year, according to the revised data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday, Sept. 30.

The second-quarter GDP growth was revised slightly upward from the previous estimate of 6.6% pace and sped up from the 6.3% growth rate recorded in the first quarter.

Under the Commerce Department, the bureau said that the higher growth in the April-June quarter reflected the continued economic recovery, reopening of establishments, and continued government response related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The U.S. real gross domestic product increased 13.4% at an annual rate, or $702.8 billion, to $22.74 trillion in the second quarter, after increased 10.9%, or $560.6 billion, in the first quarter.

Despite higher expansion in the second quarter, U.S. business economists are projecting a slowdown in the second half of 2021 and consequently the whole year due to the impacts of widespread Delta variant of the coronavirus, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

In a forecast released on Sept. 26, the National Association of Business Economists (NABE) now expects the full-year economic growth at 5.6%, lower than a 6.7% growth in their previous forecast in May.

The association raised its forecast for 2022 economic growth to 3.5% from a previous outlook of 2.8%.

The NABE said their forecasts are based on the surveys with 47 forecasters earlier in September.

According to NABE, the COVID-19 pandemic remains the dominant variable around how the world’s largest economy will do for the rest of the year and into 2022. About two-thirds of those surveyed see a potential vaccine-resistant version of the coronavirus being the most significant risk to the economy. However, a faster rollout of vaccines would provide the biggest upside to the economy this year and next year.

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