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VBR & EPR Release Qtr 2 2019 Business Condition Survey (June 2019)


Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q2 of 2019 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index.  The latest survey, which was conducted during April of 2019, achieved a response rate of 62 percent overall. 

More than three-quarters of respondents shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions (76%); a dramatic shift away from neutral from the previous survey (64%) and reflective of the demographic-workforce growth challenges Vermont is currently facing.  A majority of respondents expressed a neutral outlook about the state’s overall business climate (62% Neutral, 14% Negative); tempering the negative outlook of the previous survey (41% Neutral, 44% Negative).  When asked, “Are you more or less optimistic about the general business climate in your sector compared to three months ago?”…overall the responses were largely neutral or negative. The Manufacturing sector expressed the most optimism (40%), while the Education sector had the most pessimistic outlook (43%).


BLS Releases May 2019 Employment Situation (June 2019)


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 75,000 in May, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for March was revised down from +189,000 to +153,000, and the change for April was revised down from +263,000 to +224,000.  With these revisions, employment gains in March and April combined were 75,000 less than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 151,000 per month over the last 3 months.

In May, employment continued to trend up in professional and business services and in health care.Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up over the month (+33,000) and has increased by 498,000 over the past 12 months. Employment in health care continued its upward trend in May (+16,000). The industry has added 391,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Construction employment changed little in May (+4,000), following an increase of 30,000 in April. The industry has added 215,000 jobs over the past 12 months. Employment showed little change in May in other major industries, including mining, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, and government.

In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 6 cents to $27.83. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $23.38 in May.

The full BLS press release on the May 2019 employment situation can be accessed in the link below.

The next employment situation report for June 2019 will be released on Friday, July 5, 2019. 


BEA Releases First Quarter GDP Second Estimate (May 2019)


Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.   The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP in the first quarter was 3.2 percent. Today's estimate reflects downward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment and private inventory investment and upward revisions to exports and personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, were revised up; the general picture of economic growth remains the same.


The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, private inventory investment, exports, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment that were partly offset by a negative contribution from residential fixed investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased.


The acceleration in real GDP in the first quarter reflected an upturn in state and local government spending, accelerations in private inventory investment and in exports, and a smaller decrease in residential investment. These movements were partly offset by decelerations in PCE and nonresidential fixed investment, and a downturn in federal government spending. Imports turned down.

To view the release, please click the pdf below. 


The EB-5 Investment Coalition Releases EPR's Report on the Economic Impacts of the EB-5 Program (March 2019)


The EB-5 Investment Coalition released EPR's study on the economic impact of the EB-5 Program over a two year period.   

Please review the press release and the report entitled The Assessment of the Economic Value and Job Creation Impacts of Project Capital Investment Activity Under the EB-5 Program, available by acccessing the links below.


BLS Releases April 2019 Consumer Price Index (May 2019)


The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.4 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.0 percent before seasonal adjustment.

The gasoline index continued to increase, rising 5.7 percent and accounting for over two-thirds of the seasonally adjusted all items monthly increase. The index for energy rose 2.9 percent, although the index for natural gas declined and the index for electricity was unchanged. The food index fell in April, its first monthly decline since June 2017.

Core inflation—all items minus food and energy—rose 0.1 percent in March.  The Fed’s preferred gauge has held steady at around its 2.0 percent price growth target, a “healthy for the economy” level.  Along with the shelter index, the indexes for medical care, new vehicles, recreation, education, and tobacco all increased.  In contrast, the indexes for apparel, used cars and trucks, and airline fares all declined in March.

The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent for the third consecutive month. The indexes for shelter, medical care, education, and new vehicles all rose in April. The indexes for used cars and trucks, apparel, and household furnishings and operations were among those that declined over the month. 

The full press release can be found via the .pdf below.

Next release is Wednesday, June 12, 2019, for the May 2019 Consumer Price Index.


Client Resources

EPR has complied a list of valuable resources that benefit our clients. Read through our whitepapers and published articles to learn more about how our services can be of help.

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BLS Releases March...

Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the...

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