In what little good news can be found in the United States since Biden took office, the U.S. economy grew stronger in the second quarter as reopening efforts increased between April and June.

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis announced this week that gross domestic product (GDP) grew at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 6.5 percent in the second quarter, The Hill reported.

This is a 0.2 percent increase from the first quarter of 2021, which resulted in a GDP of 6.3 percent.

Economists, who reportedly expected to see a much higher GDP in the second quarter of 8 percent, were disappointed at what appears to be slower-than-expected progress, but nevertheless, GDP at least saw a slight improvement from the previous quarter.

The Commerce Department has attributed the small GDP growth to increased consumer spending, investment, and trade.

“The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected increases in personal consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by decreases in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, and federal government spending. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased (table 2),” the Commerce Department’s report stated.

Even minimal GDP growth in April to June has reportedly lifted the country’s total output above pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

U.S. Chief Economist at S&P Global Ratings, Beth Ann Bovino, said the fact “that we were able to recover so quickly is astounding,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

The United States has been slowly recovering since the economy was hit with a severe economic downturn when pandemic lockdowns began in March 2020.

Although experts had hoped for a strong, quick recovery, the economy has disappointed with slow, almost stagnant, growth following reopening which began in May 2020.