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The U.S. and California economies will experience near-record growth this year thanks to widespread vaccinations for COVID-19 and massive federal relief for struggling workers and businesses, UCLA forecasters predict.

“A waning pandemic combined with fiscal relief means a strong year of growth in 2021 — one of the strongest years of growth in the last 60 years — followed by sustained higher growth rates in 2022 and 2023,” according to the quarterly economic outlook released Wednesday.

California, buoyed by high-earning technology and professional sectors that shifted to at-home work during the pandemic, will recover somewhat faster than the U.S., even though a full rebound in the tourist-dependent leisure and hospitality businesses will lag.

“This is a very ‘good news’ forecast,” said Leo Feler, senior economist of the forecasting group based at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. “We have finally turned the corner.”

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