Just a few months ago, the U.S. economy looked like it was roaring back from the pandemic slump. Now the recovery is starting to look more like a grind. The spread of the delta variant has held back millions of Americans from spending on services like restaurants and hotel rooms.
Supply chains are still creaking and Hurricane Ida, which caused havoc in petrochemicals hub Louisiana as well as roughly $20 billion of flooding damage in the Northeast, may have made them worse. And high inflation is stretching household budgets.
The Atlanta Federal Reserve’s real-time estimate of economic activity now predicts growth of just 1.3% in the quarter that ended in September. Two months ago it was forecasting 6%.
Economists surveyed by Bloomberg are more upbeat. Still, the consensus growth forecast for the third quarter has dropped…