CBO: U.S. economy will return to pre-COVID-19 level this year

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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 report, titled “An Overview of the Economic Outlook: 2021 to 2031,” expects the domestic economy to rapidly grow this year and reach its pre-COVID-19┬ásize by mid-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.”