Biden’s $6 trillion spending dream undercut by strong Q1 GDP growth — and emerging inflation… Lumber prices are up nearly 250%

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Last night, President Joe Biden tried to make the case for an extra $4.1 trillion in new spending on top of his $1.9 American Rescue Plan.

Today, the Bureau of Economic Analysis delivered what might constitute a crushing blow to such ambitions, even though it is clearly good news for the rest of us.

On an annualized basis, the economy grew by 6.4% in the first quarter of the year — basically, for the three-month period before Biden’s first round of ARP spending went into effect. This level of growth, on par with what most experts estimated, was driven by consumer confidence and business reboots as onerous government lockdown measures fade away. Driven by a marked increase in spending on goods, personal consumption expenditures soared.

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But then, so did price indices.

ST. LOUIS – Lumber prices are up about 250% since April 2020, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Local suppliers and buyers are feeling the impact.

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“We’re not getting lumber in a timely manner because of COVID and the mills can’t keep up with the orders coming in,” Steven Hatton, a distributor with 84 Lumber, said. “I haven’t seen anything like this.”

Hatton said part of the reason for the increased lumber prices is because lumber bills don’t have enough workers.

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