US economy surpasses pre-pandemic size with 6.5% Q2 growth

WASHINGTON (AP) – Fueled by vaccinations and government aid, the U.S. economy grew at a solid 6.5% annual rate last quarter in another sign that the nation has achieved a sustained recovery from the pandemic recession. The total size of the economy has now surpassed its pre-pandemic level.

The government estimated that the nation’s gross domestic product accelerated in the April-June quarter from an already robust 6.3% annual growth rate in the first quarter of the year.

The quarterly figure fell well below the 8%-plus annual growth rate that many economists had predicted for the second quarter. But the miss was due mainly to bottlenecks in supply chains related to the rapid reopening of the economy.

Stocks pushed broadly higher on Wall Street Thursday, helping the S&P 500 claw back the ground it lost over the previous two days and turn slightly higher for the week. The benchmark index added 0.4%, helped by gains in technology companies and banks. Investors were underwhelmed by the market debut of online brokerage Robinhood, which closed 8.4% below its IPO price after a day of jagged trading.

Another big batch of companies released their latest quarterly results.

Pizza Hut owner Yum Brands and Ford rose after reporting solid earnings. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged up to 1.27%.