Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2019, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the third quarter, real GDP also increased 2.1 percent. The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures, federal government spending, exports, residential fixed investment, and state and local government spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private inventory investment and nonresidential fixed investment. imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, decreased. Real GDP growth in the fourth quarter was the same as that in the third. In the fourth quarter, a downturn in imports and an acceleration in government spending were offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment and a slowdown in PCE.
At the January 22, 2020, Vermont Captive Insurance Association Legislative Day, Jeff Carr presented selected findings on the Economic Contributions of the Captive Insurance Industry in Vermont. The study was produced as part of a cooperative effort between EPR, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Department of Financial Regulations, and the Vermont Captive Insurance Association, and was conducted in order to provide a baseline of statistics to inform policy making efforts. The presentation (linked below) highlighted the study’s significant findings on the amount and type of economic activity which occurred due to the operations of the Vermont Captive Insurance Industry within the state during calendar year 2018. The study served as an update to the previous economic impact study conducted by EPR in the mid-2000’s.
Based on data collected from Vermont firms which operate with the industry, Captive Insurance in Vermont contributes a total of 936 full-time and part-time jobs, $66.93 million in labor income, $158.43 million to State GDP, and $26.13 million of total Captive Insurance Premium Tax and License and Exam Fee revenues. This accounting includes the economic contribution from the 2,679 overnight visitors and 1,784 day visitors travelling to and within the State in order to conduct Captive Insurance-related business.
For more information on the study itself and its findings, please contact Ian Davis, Director of Financial Services at the Vermont Department 0f Economic Development.
Administration Secretary Susanne Young released revenue results for the State of Vermont on February 21, 2020 for the month of January and the first seven months of Vermont’s 2020 fiscal year. Results across all three funds got the first month of the second half of the State’s fiscal year to a good start—with only the part of the Education Fund that falls under the consensus revenue forecasting process slightly under-performing versus consensus cash flow expectations. General Fund revenues collected for the month totaled $178.71 million, 2.39% or $4.18 million above the monthly consensus revenue target, which has been updated to reflect the annual consensus revenue forecast adopted by the Emergency Board on January 16, 2020. According to the Secretary, “…Revenues in the State’s Transportation Fund tracked at $0.82 million, or 3.75%, above expectations for the month, bringing in $22.63 million. Higher than anticipated collections in motor vehicle purchase and use taxes and motor vehicle fees offset underperformance in fuel tax collections.” Revenue receipts in the Education Fund “…were -$0.17 million, or -0.29%, below its monthly target, having collected $58.46 million for the month. Higher than anticipated collections in motor vehicle purchase and use and meals and room taxes offset slight underperformance in sales and use tax collections,” according to Secretary Young.
“While we are pleased with these results relative to our updated revenue forecast in January, no conclusions should be drawn based on one month of data, especially at the beginning of tax season. Tax receipts and refunds that occur through the end of April will provide a better indication of how we are likely to finish the fiscal year compared to forecast,” concluded Secretary Young in the Agency of Administration’s regular monthly release of State revenue receipts.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1 percent in January on a seasonally adjusted basis, after rising 0.2 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.5 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The index for shelter accounted for the largest part of the increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index, with the indexes for food and for medical care services also rising. These increases more than offset a decrease in the gasoline index, which fell 1.6 percent in January. The energy index declined 0.7 percent, and the major energy component indexes were mixed. The index for food rose 0.2 percent in January with the indexes for both food at home and food away from home increasing over the month.
The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.2 percent in January after increasing 0.1 percent in December. Along with the indexes for shelter and medical care, the indexes for apparel, recreation, education, and airline fares all increased in January. The indexes for used cars and trucks, prescription drugs, motor vehicle insurance, and household furnishings and operations were among those to decline.
The all items index increased 2.5 percent for the 12 months ending January, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending October 2018. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.3 percent over the last 12 months, the same 12-month increase as reported in the previous 3 months. The food index rose 1.8 percent over the last 12 months, while the energy index increased 6.2 percent over that period.
The BLS Release can be read by clicking the pdf below.
Next release is Wednesday, March 11, 2020, for the February 2019 Consumer Price Index.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 225,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in construction, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 225,000 in January, compared with an average monthly gain of 175,000 in 2019. In January, construction employment rose by 44,000. Most of the gain occurred in specialty trade contractors, with increases in both the residential (+18,000) and nonresidential (+17,000) components. Construction added an average of 12,000 jobs per month in 2019. Health care added 36,000 jobs in January, with gains in ambulatory health care services (+23,000) and hospitals (+10,000). Health care has added 361,000 jobs over the past 12 months.
Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 28,000 in January. Job gains occurred in couriers and messengers (+14,000) and in warehousing and storage (+6,000). Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing has increased by 106,000. Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in January (+36,000). Over the past 6 months, the industry has added 288,000 jobs. Employment continued on an upward trend in professional and business services in January (+21,000), increasing by 390,000 over the past 12 months. Manufacturing employment changed little in January (-12,000) and has shown little movement, on net, over the past 12 months. Motor vehicles and parts lost 11,000 jobs over the month. Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, financial activities, and government, changed little over the month.
In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $28.44. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees were $23.87 in January, little changed over the month (+3 cents).
The full BLS press release on the January 2020 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:
The next employment situation report for February 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, March 6, 2020.