On June 19, 2019, Secretary of Administration Susanne Young announced revenue results for the State of Vermont for May of fiscal year 2019. Revenue receipts in the General Fund were essentially on target for the month of May and remained significantly above target for the fiscal year through May 31st. Revenues in the Transportation Fund performed above their monthly target for May but remained slightly below its cumulative, through May consensus cash flow target. Collections in the Education Fund were slightly below monthly and annual consensus cash flow targets through the eleventh month of the 2019 fiscal year. The Secretary said that “...General Fund receipts were on track for a substantial revenue surplus” for fiscal year 2019 as a whole. She noted the surplus has been appropriated to: (1) replenish the reserves at the Agency of Human Services, (2) increase the balance in the State’s “Rainy Day Fund” for the General Fund, and (3) build the balance of the State Employees Health Benefits Trust Fund. The Secretary further noted that those actions, as passed under House Bill 542, “...will result in another step forward on the path of paying down the State's unfunded liabilities."
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in May on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in April, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.8 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The food index rose 0.3 percent in May after declining in April, with the food index accounting for nearly half of the May seasonally adjusted all items monthly increase. The energy index fell 0.6 percent in May, with the gasoline index falling 0.5 percent and the indexes for electricity and natural gas also declining in May.
The index for all items less food and energy increased 0.1 percent for the fourth consecutive month. The indexes for shelter, medical care, airline fares, education, household furnishings and operations, and new vehicles all rose in May. The indexes for used cars and trucks, recreation, and motor vehicle insurance were among those that declined over the month.
The all items index increased 1.8 percent for the 12 months ending May. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.0 percent over the last 12 months, and the food index also rose 2.0 percent. The energy index decreased 0.5 percent over the past year.
The full press release can be found via the link below.
Next release is Thursday, July 11, 2019, for the June 2019 Consumer Price Index.
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%).
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.
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.