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BLS Releases July 2019 Consumer Price Index (Aug 2019)

08.13.2019

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in July on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.1 percent in June, 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.

Increases in the indexes for gasoline and shelter were the major factors in the seasonally adjusted all items monthly increase. The energy index rose in July as the gasoline and electricity indexes increased, though the natural gas index declined. The index for food was unchanged for the second month in a row, as a decline in the food at home index was offset by an increase in the food away from home index.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 in July, the same increase as in June. The July rise was broad-based, with increases in the indexes for shelter, medical care, airline fares, household furnishings and operations, apparel, and personal care all contributing to the increase. The index for new vehicles was one of the few to decline in July.

The all items index increased 1.8 percent for the 12 months ending July, a larger increase than the 1.6-percent rise for the period ending June. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.2 percent over the last 12 months, slightly more than the 2.1-percent increase for the period ending June. The food index rose 1.8 percent over the last year while the energy index declined 2.0 percent.

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

Next release is Thursday, September 12, 2019, for the August 2019 Consumer Price Index.


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BLS Releases July 2019 Employment Situation (Aug. 2019)

08.02.2019

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 164,000 in July, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in professional and technical services, health care, social assistance, and financial activities.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for May was revised down by 10,000 from +72,000 to +62,000, and the change for June was revised down by 31,000 from +224,000 to +193,000. With these revisions, employment gains in May and June combined were 41,000 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 +140,000 per month over the last 3 months.

Professional and technical services added 31,000 jobs in July, bringing the 12-month job gain to 300,000. In July, employment increased by 11,000 in computer systems design and related services; this industry accounted for about one-third of employment growth in professional and technical services both over the month and over the year. Employment in health care rose by 30,000 over the month, reflecting a gain in ambulatory health care services (+29,000). Health care employment has increased by 405,000 over the year, with ambulatory health care services accounting for about two-thirds of the gain. Social assistance added 20,000 jobs in July. Employment in this industry has increased by 143,000 over the year.  In July, financial activities employment rose by 18,000, with most of the gain occurring in insurance carriers and related activities (+11,000). Mining employment declined by 5,000 in July, after showing little net change in recent months. Manufacturing employment changed little in July (+16,000) and thus far in 2019. Job gains in the industry had averaged 22,000 per month in 2018. Employment in other major industries, including construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, transportation and warehousing, information, leisure and hospitality, and government, changed little over the month.

In July, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $27.98, following an 8-cent gain in June. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.2 percent. In July, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 4 cents to $23.46.

The full BLS press release on the July 2019 employment situation can be accessed in the link below.

The next employment situation report for August 2019 is scheduled to be released on Friday, September 6, 2019. 

 


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Vermont Consensus Forecast Update (July 2019)

07.29.2019

On July 29, 2019, Jeffrey Carr of EPR (along with Tom Kavet of Kavet, Rockler & Associates) presented the updated consensus revenue forecast for the State of Vermont before the Vermont Emergency Board. 

Click below to download a copy of the Forecast Update Report.


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BEA Releases 2nd Qtr 2019 GDP Advance Estimate (July 2019)

07.26.2019

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019, according to the "advance" 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 personal consumption expenditures (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. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased.  The deceleration in real GDP in the second quarter reflected downturns in inventory investment, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment. These downturns were partly offset by accelerations in PCE and federal government spending.

 

For the first quarter of 2019, real GDP is estimated to have increased 3.1 percent (table 1), the same as previously published. Downward revisions to exports, state and local government spending, and private inventory investment were offset by upward revisions to PCE and federal government spending.

The release can be accessed by the link below.


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Vermont Business Round Table/EPR Third Quarter Business Conditions Survey Released (July 2019)

07.15.2019

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.


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