The U.S. economy’s 4% fourth-quarter increase wasn’t enough to ward off a full-year contraction from the pandemic’s initial shock, but growth is expected in 2021.

U.S. gross domestic product—the value of all goods and services produced across the economy—rose at a 4.0% seasonally and inflation adjusted annual rate in the final quarter of last year, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, joining a record gain in the third quarter to further reduce losses from earlier in the pandemic.

That left 2020 with a 3.5% annual contraction, measured year over year, and was the first decline since the financial crisis and the largest since 1946. Measured from the fourth quarter to the same quarter a year ago, the economy shrank 2.5%.


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