The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said in a new report that the U.S. economy should return to its pre-pandemic level sometime in the middle of 2021.
The analysis cited the coronavirus vaccines as the chief reason for optimism.
The outlook also projects the U.S. labor force to return to its former size in 2022, and a return to pre-pandemic employment levels is expected by two years later.
“Over the course of the coming year, vaccination is expected to greatly reduce the number of new cases of COVID-19,” the report states. “As a result, the extent of social distancing is expected to decline.
“[The economy] is projected to return to its pre-pandemic level in mid-2021 and to surpass its potential level in early 2025. In CBO’s projections, the unemployment rate gradually declines through 2026, and the number of people employed returns to its pre-pandemic level in 2024.”