Growth and economic well-being: first quarter 2021, OECD

driven by significant fiscal expansion in the United States

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5 August 2021 – Real household income per capita, which provides a better picture of people’s economic well-being than GDP, grew by 5.8% in the OECD area as a whole over the first quarter of 2021. The rise, the largest since 2008, is largely due to the United States’ significant increase in real household income, which is a direct result of the government’s recent fiscal support, including transfer payments made to households. This exceptional rise in incomes was much higher than the 0.5% increase in GDP per capita recorded in the OECD area during the first quarter of 2021.

The result this quarter continues the divergence between GDP per capita and household income per capita since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. From Q4 2019 real household income per capita has increased by 8.2% in the OECD area as a whole, while real GDP per capita has declined by 2.7%.

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Real household income per capita and real GDP per capita

Source: OECD Household Dashboard: cross country comparisons

> Household Dashboard for quarterly growth rates of real household income per capita and real GDP for all OECD countries (when available) and geographic groupings.

> Non-financial accounts by economic sector for the full set of non-financial quarterly sector accounts

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