As the US economy has continued to recover amid reopening efforts, despite some setbacks due to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 (coronavirus), consumer spending and the labor market have expanded. Consequently, US GDP has been adjusted to increase at an annualized rate of 6.9% during the fourth quarter of 2021.
Despite this growth, inflation has posed an increasing concern, resulting in the Federal Reserve announcing anticipated interest rate hikes. Although inflation was previously expected to be transitory, it has continued to rise, driven by supply chain and labor shortages, mounting federal spending and aid, and low interest rates. Further contributing to inflation-related setbacks, new variants of the coronavirus resulted in additional regulations tempering growth.