An accelerated vaccine roll-out has raised optimism that social distancing measures will be relaxed in the coming months. The stimulus from the American Rescue Act will boost consumer spending over the first half of the year, meaning GDP should surpass Q4 2019 levels in the second quarter. The recovery in the labor market is likely to be more protracted, and could vary widely across US metros. Job growth in 2021 and 2022 is likely to be led by tourism-heavy cities which faced the deepest ruts in 2020; while GDP growth in the medium-term is likely to be led by metros with a tech-focus (e.g. San Jose, Seattle, and San Francisco).
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