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BLS Releases May 2017 Consumer Price Index (June 2017)

06.14.2017

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.1 percent in May on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  A decrease in the energy index was the main contributor to the monthly decrease, as the energy index fell 2.7 percent, led by a 6.4 percent decrease in the gasoline index.    

Excluding the volatile costs of food and energy, the index for all items less food and energy rose by 0.1 percent in May, as it did in April.  However, many indexes declined in May including those for apparel, airline fares, communication, and medical care services.

The all items index has risen 1.9 percent over the last 12 months ending in May, a smaller rise than the 2.2 percent average rise for the 12 months ending in April.  However, it is still a larger rise than the 1.6 percent average annual increase over the past 10 years.  

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

Next release is Friday, July 14, 2017 for the June 2017 Consumer Price Index.


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BLS Releases May 2017 Employment Situation (June 2017)

06.02.2017

Employers added 138,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in May of 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  The unemployment rate declined to 4.3 percent.


Job gains occurred in health care and mining. The number of jobs in professional and business services increased by 38,000 over the month, and employment in food services and drinking places increased by 30,000 jobs.

 

Job growth in April 2017 was revised to 174,000, down from the initially estimated 211,000.  Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 121,000 additions a month.

 

Average hourly earnings rose by four cents to $26.22.   Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen 2.5 percent. 

 

The full BLS press release on the May 2017 employment situation can be accessed in the link below:

 

The next employment situation report for June 2017 will be released on Friday, July 7, 2017.


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BEA Releases Second Estimate of First Quarter GDP (May 2017)

05.26.2017

The Bureau of Economic Analysis released its “second” estimate of first quarter 2017 Gross Domestic Product.  This GDP estimate is based on more complete source data than were available for the “advance” estimate in the last month.

The second estimate shows that real GDP increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent during the first quarter of 2017.  In the fourth quarter of 2016, real GDP increased 2.1 percent (revised). 

The increase in real GDP in the first quarter reflected increases in nonresidential fixed investment and personal consumption expenditures (PCE), that were offset by a larger decrease in private inventory investments.  The decrease in state and local government spending was smaller than previously estimated.  

The full BEA press release on the second estimate of first quarter GDP can be accessed in the link below:

The next release—for the third estimate of first quarter GDP 2017 will be released on June 29, 2017. 


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BLS Releases April 2017 Consumer Price Index (May 2017)

05.12.2017

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in April on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  Increases in the indexes for shelter, energy, tobacco, and food contributed to the monthly increase.  The energy index rose 1.1 percent in April of 2017. 

Excluding the volatile costs of food and energy, the index for all items less food and energy rose by 0.1 percent in April, after a decline in March.  However, many indexes declined in April including wireless phone services, medical care, motor vehicle insurance, apparel, used cars and trucks, recreation, and new vehicles. The all items index has risen 2.2 percent over the last 12 months ending in April, a larger rise than the 1.7 percent average annual increase over the past 10 years. 

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

Next release is Wednesday, June 14, 2017 for the May 2017 Consumer Price Index. 


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Vermont Business Roundtable/EPR Third Quarter Business Conditions Survey Released (May 2017)

05.10.2017

The VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey for the first quarter/second quarter of 2017 has been released.  Most responses to the question about the state’s overall business climate outlook were neutral (55%).  The remaining responses were split between positive (24%) and negative (21%).  About three-quarters of respondents (74%) shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions, compared to half (51%) in the previous survey.  The information sector had the most optimistic outlook on the general business climate, while the health care sector had the least optimistic outlook.  Compared to the national Business Roundtable CEO Survey, Vermont companies are predicting lower capital spending plans, and a more neutral or stable employment outlook than their national counterparts. 

 

For this reporting period, the diffusion index shows a slide back to neutral from Q1 2017 to Q2 2017, indicating that Vermont CEOs continue to feel uncertain about the business climate in many areas of the State and sectors of the Vermont economy for the coming three months.  Based on the highest frequency of comments, respondents expressed concern about the relatively high cost of living in Vermont, high health care costs, and the shrinking labor pool.

 

The Business Conditions Survey is conducted in partnership between the Vermont Business Roundtable and Economic & Policy Resources.  The nine question survey of the approximately 100 members of the Vermont Business Roundtable captures a glimpse of how Vermont business leaders see the state economy.  The survey asks business leaders how  their businesses have fared in the recent past and how they view the future.  Sentiments regarding the current and expected business climate and the expected impact on hiring and investing decisions are also surveyed.   Included in the standard survey is a question asking roundtable members for opinions on a current debate in public policy.   Along with providing a snapshot of the Vermont business climate, the survey allows Vermonters to see how these markers change over time.


The press release is available as a PDF below.


PDF

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BLS Releases May...

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.1 percent in May on a seasonally-adjusted basis.  A decrease in the energy index was the main contributor...


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