On October 18, 2019, Administration Secretary Susanne Young released revenue results for the State of Vermont for the month of September and the first quarter of the State’s 2020 Fiscal Year. According to Secretary Young, “...General Fund and Education receipts were above the consensus cash flow target for the month, while Transportation Fund revenues were below expectations...Year to date, General Fund revenues were above target, and the Transportation and Education Funds are essentially on target...”. Secretary Young then commented; ”...It is encouraging that the September collections were ahead of forecast because September collections reflect quarterly estimated personal and corporate income tax payments. But we also recognize that we are only one quarter into the fiscal year, and much can change...”
Click the pdf below to download Secretary Young’s entire press release with the comprehensive State revenue receipts data.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in September on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.1 percent in August, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.
Increases in the indexes for shelter and food were offset by declines in the indexes for energy and used cars and trucks to result in the seasonally adjusted all items index being flat. The energy index fell 1.4 percent as the gasoline index declined 2.4 percent. The food index increased 0.1 percent in September after being unchanged in each of the prior 3 months.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in September after increasing 0.3 percent in each of the last 3 months. Along with the shelter index, the indexes for medical care, household furnishings and operations, and motor vehicle insurance all rose in September. The indexes for used cars and trucks, apparel, new vehicles, and communication all declined.
The all items index increased 1.7 percent for the 12 months ending September, the same increase as for the 12 months ending August. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the last 12 months, also the same increase as the period ending August. The food index increased 1.8 percent over the last year, while the energy index decreased 4.8 percent.
The full press release can be found via the link below.
Next release is Thursday, November 13, 2019, for the October 2019 Consumer Price Index.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.0 percent in the second quarter of 2019 (table 1), according to the "third" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 3.1 percent. The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from PCE, federal government spending, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, and residential fixed investment. The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter primarily reflected downturns in inventory investment, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment. These downturns were partly offset by accelerations in PCE and federal government spending.
The second-quarter percent change in real GDP was the same as previously estimated. Downward revisions to PCE and nonresidential fixed investment were primarily offset by upward revisions to state and local government spending and exports, and a downward revision to imports.
The unemployment rate declined to 3.5 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 136,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in health care and in professional and business services continued to trend up.
The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised up by 7,000 from +159,000 to +166,000, and the change for August was revised up by 38,000 from +130,000 to +168,000. With these revisions, employment gains in July and August combined were 45,000 more 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 157,000 per month over the last 3 months.
In September, health care added 39,000 jobs, in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. Ambulatory health care services (+29,000) and hospitals (+8,000) added jobs over the month. Employment in professional and business services continued to trend up in September (+34,000). The industry has added an average of 35,000 jobs per month thus far in 2019, compared with 47,000 jobs per month in 2018. Employment in government continued on an upward trend in September (+22,000). Federal hiring for the 2020 Census was negligible (+1,000). Government has added 147,000 jobs over the past 12 months, largely in local government. Employment in transportation and warehousing edged up in September (+16,000). Within the industry, job growth occurred in transit and ground passenger transportation (+11,000) and in couriers and messengers (+4,000). Retail trade employment changed little in September (-11,000). Within the industry, clothing and clothing accessories stores lost 14,000 jobs, while food and beverage stores added 9,000 jobs. Since reaching a peak in January 2017, retail trade has lost 197,000 jobs. Employment in other major industries, including mining, construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and leisure and hospitality, showed little change over the month.
In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at $28.09, were little changed (-1 cent), after rising by 11 cents in August. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.9 percent. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 4 cents to $23.65.
The full BLS press release on the September 2019 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:
The next employment situation report for October 2019 is scheduled to be released on Friday, November 1, 2019.
Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q3 of 2019 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index. The latest survey, which was conducted during July of 2019, achieved a response rate of 63 percent overall.
Two-thirds of respondents shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions (67%); a slight shift toward neutral from the previous survey (76%) and is reflective of the chronic demographic-workforce growth challenges in Vermont; A majority of respondents expressed a neutral outlook about the state’s overall business climate (54% Neutral, 22% Negative); a slight shift toward negative outlook of the previous survey (62% Neutral, 14% 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 Accommodation and Food Service sector expressed the most optimism (29%), while the Manufacturing sector had the most pessimistic outlook (75%).
The survey is attached as a pdf below. The next survey will be conducted in October 2019.