Today, Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q2 of 2018 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index.Almost three-quarters of respondents (72%) shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions; an increase from the previous survey (69%). When asked, “Are you more or less optimistic about the general business climate in your sector compared to three months ago?”, the manufacturing sector had the most optimistic outlook on the general business climate (67% optimistic), while the health care sector again had the least optimistic outlook (67% pessimistic, 33% neutral).
Mr. Carr of EPR stated that “While business leaders in Vermont appear to have a somewhat more cautious economic outlook compared to their national counterparts, there are still a number of positive signs, including an uptick in all three of the diffusion indices looking forward into the future – including demand, capital spending, and employment.”Vermont’s outlook appears to remain on a “neutral” trend, with only slight fluctuation. Given the responses from this and the previous survey, they continue to demonstrate that economic conditions overall remain cautiously optimistic in many areas of the State and sectors of Vermont economy.
Employers added 164,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in April of 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate edge down at 3.9 percent.
Job gains occurred in professional and business services, manufacturing, mining, and health care. The number of jobs in professional and business services increased by 54,000, manufacturing jobs increased by 24,000 over the month, while health care gained 24,000 jobs. Mining jobs increased by 8,000.
Job growth in March 2018 was revised to 135,000, up from the initially estimated 103,000. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 208,000 additions a month.
Average hourly earnings rose by four cents to $26.84. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen 2.6 percent.
The full BLS press release on the April 2018 employment situation can be accessed in the .pdf below:
The next employment situation report for May 2018 will be released on Friday, June 1, 2018.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its “advance” estimate of first quarter 2018 Gross Domestic Product. The advance estimate is based on data that is subject to further revision compared to the “second” estimate. The advance estimate shows that real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.3 percent during the first quarter of 2018.
The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected increases in personal consumption expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment, exports, private inventory investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending. Imports, which is subtracted in the GDP calculation, increased.
The full BEA press release on the second estimate of fourth quarter GDP can be accessed in the link below:
The next release—for the second estimate of first quarter GDP 2018 will be released on May 30, 2018.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.2 percent in March of 2018 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. An decrease in the index for gasoline was the main contributor to the monthly increase.
Excluding the volatile costs of food and energy, the index for all items less food and energy rose by 0.2 percent in March. The indexes for shelter, medical care, personal care, motor vehicle insurance, and airline fares increased in March.
The all items index has risen 2.4 percent over the last 12 months ending in March, the largest increase since the period ending March 2017.
The full press release can be found via the link below.
Next release is Thursday, May 10, 2018, for the April 2018 Consumer Price Index.
Employers added 103,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in March of 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent.
Job gains occurred in manufacturing, health care, and mining. The number of jobs in manufacturing increased by 22,000 over the month, while health care gained 22,000 jobs, and mining gained 9,000 jobs.
Job growth in February 2018 was revised to 326,000, up from the initially estimated 313,000. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 202,000 additions a month.
Average hourly earnings rose by nine cents to $26.82. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen 2.7 percent.
The full BLS press release on the March 2018 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:
The next employment situation report for April 2018 will be released on Friday, May 4, 2018.