Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

5 big economic predictions about Biden's COVID-19 relief bill

The House is expected to pass the Senate-amended version of President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill Wednesday before sending it to the Oval Office for a presidential signature. Here are five predictions on how the stimulus will affect the U.S. and global economies going forward.

U.S. growth — A group of economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal forecasts a year-over-year 5.95 percent bump in economic growth in the U.S. in 2021, an increase from their January projection. Some economists suggested the prediction is conservative, but either way it would be the U.S. economy's fastest burst since it grew 7.9 percent in 1983. Morgan Stanley expects the U.S. economy to grow by 7.3 percent.

Added jobs — The Journal survey anticipates employers adding an average of 514,000 jobs every month over the next four quarters. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Monday the U.S. labor market should return to its pre-pandemic health by next year, while Bloomberg reports several economists similarly see the jobless rate falling back to around 3.8 percent.

Global spillover — The Organization for Cooperation and Development on Tuesday raised its forecast for 2021 to 5.6 percent global economic growth, and the U.S. stimulus was a major factor. "This will not only boost the U.S. economy, but it will fuel global growth through increased demand in the U.S. and from the U.S. to the rest of the world," OECD Chief Economist Laurence Boone said. Mexico and Canada, particularly, should benefit, Bloomberg notes.

Child poverty reduction — A recent study found that the bill's plan to temporarily raise the child tax credit should cut child poverty in the U.S. by 45 percent, The New York Times reports.

Rising inflation — Inflation will rise (the Journal survey settled on a 2.48 percent increase in consumer prices by December) and there's concern that could force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, potentially dealing a blow to the economy and labor market before they completely recover. But many economists expect inflation to gradually fall after a mid-year apex, making "uncontrolled overheating" of the economy unlikely.