G.D.P. growth accelerated in the first quarter.

The economy picked up speed last quarter, shaking off some of the lingering effects of the pandemic as consumer spending grew, bolstered by government stimulus checks and an easing of restrictions in many parts of the country.

The Commerce Department reported Thursday that the economy expanded 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021, compared with 1.1 percent in the final quarter last year.

On an annualized basis, the first-quarter growth rate was 6.4 percent.

“We’re running on all cylinders in terms of economic activity,” said Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West in San Francisco. “People are anxious to get out and return to their normal lives, and there’s pent-up demand.”

“It doesn’t hurt that the stock market is at a record high and the housing market is strong,” he added. “Consumers have built up roughly $2 trillion in excess savings.”

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