Any doubt that the American economy is a resilient beast is in the process of being dispelled. It is in the midst of an unexpectedly sharp recovery. This is not to deny rampant suffering: although jobless claims plunged last week and Amazon continues to gobble up new staff 100,000 at a time, the jobs market remains beset by shutdowns and longer-term trends that have been compressed from several years into a few months. Many small businesses have been shuttered, often permanently.
But the economy is in far better shape than we dared expect only a few months ago. It probably grew in the third quarter at a rate that puts gross domestic product about where it was a year ago, when Covid-19 had not yet.
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