US gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic activity — grew at an annualized pace of 6.4% in the first three months of the year, adjusted for seasonal swings, the Commerce Department reported Thursday.

The government uses the ‘annualized’ rate, which assumed the quarterly growth rate would continue for a full year, because it makes it easier to compare numbers of different periods of time.

That was slightly better than economists had predicted, and a faster rate than the 4.3% recorded at the end of 2020. In normal times, a rate above 6% would represent electric growth. But during the pandemic, the situation has become quite different. The rebound in economic activity has been faster than initially expected, but even after three quarters of sharp growth –— including the best quarter on record — we’re not back to pre-pandemic levels.

The first quarter was the best since 1984, which is am impressive feat. But…

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