President Biden said the US economy had its strongest year in nearly four decades in 2021, growing at a rate of 5.7%.
Facts first: That is correct. But it also needs some more context because the economy is still recovering from the devastating impact of the pandemic.
The US economy was strong last year. The nation’s gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic activity, increased at a pace of 5.7%, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. That was the fastest growth rate since 1984, when Ronald Reagan was in the White House.
That said, America is also still recovering from the worst of the pandemic. In 2020, GDP contracted as a result of the economy shutting down in response to Covid-19. Last year’s upswing was still making up for lost ground.
But the economic growth came at a price: inflation has soared, and Americans face higher prices everywhere from food to gasoline to furniture. At the start of 2022, two of the most-watched inflation indicators — the Labor Department's consumer price index and the Commerce Department's personal consumption expenditure price index — increased at the fastest pace since 1982 during the year ending in January.