Economy revs up as Americans increase spending on flights, lodging, dining out

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal this month raised their average forecast for 2021 economic growth to 5.95%, measured from the fourth quarter of last year to the same period this year, from a 4.87% projection in February’s survey. The higher figure would mark the fastest such pace in nearly four decades.

“You’re looking at the biggest surge in economic growth that most people who are working today have ever experienced in their working lives,” said Tim Quinlan, senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities. He expects consumer demand and trillions of dollars in built-up savings to propel economic growth “in a manner that’s going to take people’s breaths away.”

The pickup is arriving sooner than many economists had expected at the start of the year, before Congress and the White House approved a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. In the Journal’s March survey, respondents upped their average forecasts of economic growth in the first quarter to an annualized rate of 4.9%, from 2.8% in February’s survey.