TERRE HAUTE, IND. (WTHI) - The nation is making a positive economic rebound, but local economists say this may not last long.
The second quarter Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) report was just released. The GDP is used as a way to measure the value of goods and services produced by the economy.
During the second quarter of 2021, the United States saw a 6.5% growth in Real GDP. In normal circumstances, economists say this is a remarkable number. But during the recovery from a nationwide pandemic, many had hoped this number would be a lot higher.
"Under any other circumstances, this would be described as amazing and record-setting, but like everything else in COVID, it needs context." Dr. Robert Guell, an economics professor at Indiana State University, said.
Many economists were expecting the nation's Real GDP to see a growth of 8.5 - 9%, but it was only 6.5% for the second quarter.
Dr. Guell says there are two main reasons the growth wasn't as high as initially anticipated. The first involves supply shortages.
"Right now, the Delta variant is slowing production down, particularly in East Asia," he said.
The other reason for the smaller economic rebound involves the nationwide labor shortage.
"It is harder for entities to get the workers they need," he said. "We might have a 9% growth economy if we had fewer labor shortages."
Local economists say the growth is still significant but this positive trend may not last long. They say if the Delta variant spread becomes worse, this will likely bring challenges to both the nationwide and local economies.
"If we get a variant that breaks through vaccines and causes severe illness, that would be a trigger for an economic consequence," he said.
The second-quarter GDP reports for the Wabash Valley will not be released for at least a couple of months. Dr. Guell says he expects the numbers to be similar to the national and statewide trends.