The economy appears to be at a critical point in the recovery. At a national level, economic indicators point to positive growth. As the economy has improved, prices are rising and inflation has begun to ramp up. Here in Virginia, job growth remains steady, though there is still a long way to go to regain all of the jobs that were lost last spring. Mortgage rates dropped after rising slightly for several weeks.
Here are some key numbers to watch:
6.4% is the annualized increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the 1st quarter of 2021. GDP growth was higher in the 1st quarter of 2021 than it was in the 4th quarter of 2020, reflecting strength in the economic recovery.
2.6% is the March 2021 rate of inflation according to the latest Consumer Price Index data. Inflation has been on the rise since November, which is another signal of the improving economy and expanded consumer and business spending.
-182,000 is the difference in the number of jobs in Virginia in March 2021 compared to March 2020. Job growth has been uneven for several months; however, overall trends suggest a steady rebound in the state’s economy.
-76,600 is the difference in the number of Leisure & Hospitality jobs in March 2021 compared to March 2020. The Leisure & Hospitality sector has been hardest hit by the recession; however, most sectors of the economy remain at below pre-pandemic levels. The exceptions are the Professional & Technical Services, Transportation & Warehousing, and Federal Government sectors.
2.98% is the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) rate during the last week of April, according to Freddie Mac. Mortgage rates rose this spring, but the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate has fallen below 3% for the past two weeks.
For more information on the economic recovery in Virginia, check out Virginia REALTORS® Monthly Economic Snapshot. Be sure to visit our Research & Statistics pages for more data and analysis on Virginia’s economy and housing market.
Click here to send any comments or questions about this piece to Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD.
*Information as of 05/04/21