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BEA Releases Second Estimate of First Quarter GDP (May 2018)


The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its “second” estimate of first quarter 2018 Gross Domestic Product.  The second estimate is based on data that is more complete compared to the “advance” estimate. The second estimate shows that real GDP increased at an annual rate of 2.2 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.  The increase was partly offset by negative contributions from residential fixed 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 first quarter GDP 2018 will be released on June 28, 2018. 


BLS Releases April 2018 Consumer Price Index (May 2018)


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in April of 2018 on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  An increase in the indexes for gasoline and shelter were 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 0.1 percent in April.  The indexes for household furnishings and operations, personal care, tobacco, medical care, and apparel all increased in April.

The all items index has risen 2.5 percent over the last 12 months ending in April, a figure which has been trending upward since June 2017.  

The full press release can be found via the link below.

Next release is Thursday, June 12, 2018, for the May 2018 Consumer Price Index.


VBR and EPR Release Qtr1 and Qtr2 2018 Business Conditions Survey Results (May 2018)


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.



Vermont Emergency Board Presentation (May 2018)


On May 7, 2018, Jeffrey Carr of EPR presented the updated consensus revenue analysis of expected fiscal year 2018 General Fund receipts before the Vermont Emergency Board.  Click the PDF below to download a copy of the Economists’ May 7, 2018 Consensus Revenue Analysis Letter. 

The consensus was that General Fund receipts for fiscal year 2018 would likely not be less than $44.2 million above the fiscal year 2018 consensus revenue forecast approved by the Vermont Emergency Board on January 18, 2018.  The updated revenue analysis for the General Fund for fiscal year 2018 did not include any analysis of likely General Fund revenue receipts for fiscal year 2019 or fiscal year 2020.  An updated consensus revenue forecast for fiscal years 2019 through 2021 for the General Fund, and for the Transportation Fund and Education Fund will be presented at the next meeting of the Vermont Emergency Board to be convened around mid-to-late July of calendar year 2018.


BLS Releases April 2018 Employment Situation (May 2018)


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. 


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BLS Releases October...

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) was unchanged in October on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.2 percent in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last...

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