The U.S. GDP grew at an annual rate of 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2021, according to the advance estimate released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) on Thursday. Fueled by several rounds of stimulus checks, personal consumption expenditure was the main driver behind the upswing, as private domestic investment and the negative trade balance pulled in the other direction.
Personal consumption, by far the largest component of the GDP, was stronger than expected, increasing by 10.7 percent compared to the preceding quarter at an annualized rate, despite the fact that service spending remained lackluster. Government spending and investment also saw a significant increase but its impact on overall GDP growth is significantly smaller than that of consumer spending.
The following chart breaks down the Q1 2021 GDP into its four components and shows how much each component contributed to the total growth of 6.4 percent.