By Kyle Cheng
The current outlook of the U.S. economy remains positive, with several tailwinds helping to drive the recovery. States have lifted many COVID-19 restrictions as vaccination rates rise and consumers are responding. This, combined with loose federal monetary policy and stimulus payments, is spurring consumer spending.
Retail sales are nearly 18% higher than they were prior to the pandemic in February 2020—further helping the recovery. It will be difficult for retail sales to continue to grow at these historic rates in the coming years and months, as the increased opening of the service economy will likely pull away some of this growth in the later part of 2021.
New-vehicle sales hit record highs in April. However, supply constraints are hurting production levels. The auto sector is racing to keep up with this historic demand, but supply-chain shortages may take some time before fully recovering.
For more information, download the new May “SEMA Industry Indicators” report today at www.sema.org/research.