On January 15, 2020, 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.
Real gross domestic product in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased at an annual rate of 2.1 percent, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The increase in real GDP in the fourth quarter reflected positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures (PCE), federal government spending, state and local government spending, residential fixed investment, and exports, 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, an acceleration in government spending, and a smaller decrease in nonresidential investment were offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investment and a slowdown in PCE.
Real GDP increased 2.3 percent in 2019 (from the 2018 annual level to the 2019 annual level), compared with an increase of 2.9 percent in 2018 (table 1). The increase in real GDP in 2019 reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed investment, federal government spending, state and local government spending, and private inventory investment that were partly offset by negative contributions from residential fixed investment. Imports increased. The deceleration in real GDP in 2019, compared to 2018, primarily reflected decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and PCE and a downturn in exports, which were partly offset by accelerations in both state and local and federal government spending. Imports increased less in 2019 than in 2018.
On January 24, 2020, Secretary of Administration released December 2019 revenue results for the month of December and the first half of fiscal year 2020 for the State of Vermont. As expected, receipts in the General Fund bounced back somewhat from the previous month’s end of the month calendar issue with the Thanksgiving holiday. Secretary Young stated: “General Fund receipts were $5.11 million, or 3.85%, above the consensus cash flow target for the month. The Education Fund was also above expectations, while the Transportation Fund revenues were below forecast.”
The Secretary further elaborated, “…While we are generally pleased with the overall performance of revenues relative to forecast, despite the revenue upgrade, the Governor’s proposed FY21 budget required difficult decisions with reductions in appropriations to agencies, departments, programs and services…The Administration will continue to focus on meeting the State’s demographics challenge to draw more people to Vermont and into our workforce. We need to continue to make investments that grow our economy and our tax base,” Secretary Young concluded.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.2 percent in December on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in November, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 2.3 percent before seasonal adjustment.
The indexes for gasoline, shelter, and medical care all rose in December, accounting for most of the increase in the seasonally adjusted all items index. The gasoline index increased 2.8 percent in December. Other major energy component indexes were mixed, and the energy index rose 1.4 percent. The food index rose 0.2 percent in December 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 0.1 percent in December after increasing 0.2 percent in November. Along with the indexes for shelter and medical care, the indexes for apparel, motor vehicle insurance, recreation, and new vehicles all increased in December. The indexes for used cars and trucks, household furnishings and operations, and airline fares were among those to decline.
The all items index increased 2.3 percent for the 12 months ending December, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending October 2018. The index for all items less food and energy also rose 2.3 percent over the last 12 months, the same increase as the periods ending October and November. The food index rose 1.8 percent over the last 12 months, while the energy index increased 3.4 percent. The full press release can be found via the link below.
Next release is Thursday, February 13, 2020, for the January 2019 Consumer Price Index.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 145,000 in December, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs.
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 145,000 in December. Notable job gains occurred in retail trade and health care, while mining lost jobs. In 2019, payroll employment rose by 2.1 million, down from a gain of 2.7 million in 2018. (See table B-1.) In December, retail trade added 41,000 jobs. Employment increased in clothing and accessories stores (+33,000) and in building material and garden supply stores (+7,000); both industries showed employment declines in the prior month. Employment in retail trade changed little, on net, in both 2019 and 2018 (+9,000 and +14,000, respectively). Employment in health care increased by 28,000 in December. Ambulatory health care services and hospitals added jobs over the month (+23,000 and +9,000, respectively). Health care added 399,000 jobs in 2019, compared with an increase of 350,000 in 2018.
Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in December (+40,000). The industry added 388,000 jobs in 2019, similar to the increase in 2018 (+359,000). Mining employment declined by 8,000 in December. In 2019, employment in mining declined by 24,000, after rising by 63,000 in 2018. Construction employment changed little in December (+20,000). Employment in the industry rose by 151,000 in 2019, about half of the 2018 gain of 307,000.
In December, employment in professional and business services showed little change (+10,000). The industry added 397,000 jobs in 2019, down from an increase of 561,000 jobs in 2018. Employment in transportation and warehousing changed little in December (-10,000). Employment in the industry increased by 57,000 in 2019, about one-fourth of the 2018 gain of 216,000. Manufacturing employment was little changed in December (-12,000). Employment in the industry changed little in 2019 (+46,000), after increasing in 2018 (+264,000). In December, employment showed little change in other major industries, including wholesale trade, information, financial activities, and government.
In December, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 3 cents to $28.32. Over the last 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 2.9 percent. In December, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees, at $23.79, were little changed (+2 cents).
The full BLS press release on the December 2019 employment situation can be accessed in the pdf below:
The next employment situation report for January 2020 is scheduled to be released on Friday, February 7, 2020.