The economy seems to be accelerating, with stepped-up vaccinations and more stimulus. That’s burnishing Biden’s record in his first 100 days.
If the most telling scorecard of a U.S. presidency is the economy, then President Joe Biden deserves high marks for his first 100 days. It’s a small sample, of course – featuring data for just a couple of months – but measures of job growth and retail sales pointed to a booming economy in March. And analysts say that’s likely just the beginning of a historically robust year. Much of the surge can be traced to growing COVID-19 vaccinations – with 40% of the population having received at least one shot, according to Goldman Sachs — a leveling off of virus cases, and the lifting of business restrictions in many states. And don’t forget the nearly $4 trillion in Congress’s COVID relief packages, including $1,800 per-person in stimulus checks sent to most Americans through December.
In other words, the economy was on track to bust out even before Biden moved into the White House. Just the economy reopening would go a long way toward healing the wounds. “Just the economy reopening would go a long way toward healing the wounds,” says Richard Moody, chief economist of Regions Financial. Yet under Biden, the vaccine rollout has been faster than expected at more than 3 million shots a day the past couple of weeks. “Biden gets props for getting the vaccine process sped up,” Moody says.
He also spearheaded the latest $1.9 trillion COVID relief package, passed by Congress in March, that includes another round of $1,400 stimulus checks. The Treasury Department says it has disbursed 161 million of those payments totaling $379 billion. All told, Americans are flush with an additional $2.4 trillion that they’ve squirreled way during the outbreak and they’re ready to spend much of it just as the economy is getting back on its feet. Put simply, the president helped put a strong recovery on steroids.