The VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey for the second quarter of 2016/third quarter of 2016 has been released. Most responses to the question about the state’s overall business climate outlook were neutral (58%). The remaining responses were split between optimistic (22%) and pessimistic (20%). More than 60 percent of respondents (61%) shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions. The accommodations sector had the most optimistic outlook on the general business climate, while the utilities sector had the least optimistic outlook. For this reporting period, the diffusion index shows a decline in optimism from Q2 2016 to Q3 2016, indicating that Vermont CEOs continue to feel neutral about the business climate for the coming three months.
The Business Conditions Survey is conducted in partnership between the Vermont Business Roundtable and Economic & Policy Resources. The nine question survey of the 96 members of the Vermont Business Roundtable captures a glimpse of how Vermont business leaders see the state economy. The survey asks business leaders how their businesses have fared in the recent past and how they view the future. Sentiments regarding the current and expected business climate and the expected impact on hiring and investing decisions are also surveyed. Included in the standard survey is a question asking roundtable members for opinions on a current debate in public policy. Along with providing a snapshot of the Vermont business climate, the survey allows Vermonters to see how these markers change over time.
The survey results are attached in the pdf below.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its “advance” estimate of second quarter 2016 Gross Domestic Product. The advance estimate is based on data that may be incomplete or subject to revision. The second estimate, released in August, will be based on more complete data.
The advance estimate shows that real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent during the second quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2016, real GDP increased 0.8 percent (revised).
The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and exports which were offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment, nonresidential and residential fixed investment and state and local government spending. Imports, which is subtracted in the GDP calculation, decreased.
The full BEA press release on the advanced estimate of second quarter GDP can be accessed in the link below:
The next release—for the second estimate of second quarter GDP 2016 and preliminary estimate for corporate profits, second quarter 2016 will be released on Friday, August 26, 2016.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released employment data for June 2016. Unemployment rose 0.2 percentage points to 4.9%, though nonfarm payroll employment increased by 287,000.
Employment rose in the information sector after workers returned from a strike. There was also job growth in leisure and hospitality, health care and social assistance, and financial activities.
The full release is available as a PDF below:
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has released its third estimate of first quarter 2016 gross domestic product and revised estimate of first quarter corporate profits.
The third estimate of GDP, based on more complete data, shows GDP increasing at an annual rate of 1.1%, which is up from 0.8% in the second estimate and 0.5% in the advance estimate. This is still a slight deceleration, however, from fourth quarter 2015, which saw GDP increasing at an annual rate of 1.4%. The data used in the third estimate paint a similar general economic picture, but show an increase in exports.
The revised estimate of corporate profits shows a greater increase of $34.7 billion, which is up from the preliminary estimate of $6.5 billion. This increase shows a great contrast with the $159.6 billion decrease seen in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The full report is accessible via the link below:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics has released Consumer Price Index data for May. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2% in May.
The food index saw a decline of 0.2% as a result of the decline in all six major grocery store food group indexes. The gasoline index, however, rose 2.3%, driving an increase of 1.2% in the energy index.
The full report is available as a PDF below: