According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in February of 2018 on a seasonally-adjusted basis. An increase in the index for shelter, apparel, and motor vehicle insurance 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 February. Many indexes increased in February including those for household furnishings and operations, education, personal care, and airline fares, as well as those listed above.
The all items index has risen 2.2 percent over the last 12 months ending in February, a slightly larger rise than the 2.1 percent average rise for the 12 months ending in Janaury.
The full press release can be found via the link below.
Next release is Wednesday, April 11, 2018, for the March 2018 Consumer Price Index.
Employers added 313,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in February of 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent.
Job gains occurred in construction, retail trade, professional and business services, manufacturing, financial activities, and mining. The number of jobs in construction increased by 61,000 over the month, while retail trade gained 50,000 jobs, and professional and business services gained 50,000 jobs.
Job growth in January 2018 was revised to 239,000, up from the initially estimated 200,000. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 242,000 additions a month.
Average hourly earnings rose by nine cents to $26.75. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen 2.6 percent.
The full BLS press release on the February 2018 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:
The next employment situation report for March 2018 will be released on Friday, April 6, 2018.
Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q4 2017 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index. A supermajority of respondents (69%) shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions, a decline from the previous survey (63%). The information sector again had the most optimistic outlook on the general business climate (100% optimistic), while the education sector again had the least optimistic, but improving outlook (50% pessimistic, 25% neutral, 25% optimistic). This is the third quarter in a row that the information sector led in optimism about the general business climate.
Mr. Carr of EPR stated that “We seem to be seeing the first signs that the higher levels of business confidence on the national level are working their way back to business leaders in Vermont. With the near-term outlook for the U.S. and global economies strengthening, we would expect to see at least a small increase in optimism for the Vermont economy as well.” While the index remains in the “neutral to mild optimism” range, the slight uptick in optimism is encouraging for the overall economic outlook in the state. Vermont’s outlook appears to remain on a “neutral” trend, with a slight positive uptick. Given the responses from this and the previous survey, and continues to demonstrate that economic conditions overall remain somewhat uncertain in many areas of the State and sectors of Vermont economy.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its “second” estimate of fourth quarter 2017 Gross Domestic Product. The second estimate is based on data that is more complete than the “advance” estimate. The second estimate shows that real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent during the fourth quarter of 2017.
The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected increases in personal consumption expenditures, nonresidential fixed investment, residential fixed investment, federal government spending, and state and local government spending. These increases were partly offset by a decrease in private inventory investment. 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 third estimate of fourth quarter GDP 2017 and the fourth quarter corporate profits will be released on March 28, 2018.
Employers added 200,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in January of 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent.
Job gains occurred in construction, food services and drinking places, manufacturing, and health care. The number of jobs in construction increased by 36,000 over the month, while food services and drinking places gained 31,000 jobs, manufacturing gained 15,000 jobs and health care gained 21,000 jobs.
Job growth in December 2017 was revised to 160,000, up from the initially estimated 148,000. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 192,000 additions a month.
Average hourly earnings rose by nine cents to $26.74. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen 2.9 percent.
The full BLS press release on the January 2018 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:
The next employment situation report for February 2018 will be released on Friday, March 9, 2018.