On December 17, 2018, Administration Secretary Susanne Young released General Fund, Transportation Fund and Education Fund revenue results for the month of November and the first five months of the State’s 2019 fiscal year. Receipts activity across all three fund aggregates during the month of November were upbeat, with receipts in the General Fund and Transportation Fund tracking ahead of cumulative consensus expectations through November. Receipts in the Education Fund were also up versus expectations for the month of November, paced by an ahead of target monthly receipts performance in the Sales & Use Tax. November’s above-target level of receipts in the Sales & Use Tax was the first ahead of target monthly receipts performance of the 2019 fiscal year. Receipts overall in the Education Fund were down slightly for the fiscal year to-date, mostly due to the under-performance of the Sales & Use tax over the first four months of the 2019 fiscal year. Even so, revenues in the State’s Education Fund were only 1.0 percent below consensus expectations overall through November.
Click the pdf below to download Secretary Young’s most recent press release.
Lisa Ventriss, President of Vermont Business Roundtable (VBR) and Jeffrey Carr, President, Economic & Policy Resources (EPR), announced the Q4 of 2018 outlook results of their joint initiative, the VBR/EPR Business Conditions Survey and Index. The latest survey, which was conducted during October and November of 2018, achieved a response rate of 65 percent overall.
More than 80 percent of respondents shared negative outlooks specifically with ease of hiring for available positions (83%); an increase from the previous survey (77%). A majority of respondents expressed a neutral outlook about the state’s overall business climate (57%); a decrease from the previous survey (53%). However, expected demand for the next three months was improved over the previous quarter among a slight majority (51%). When asked, “Are you more or less optimistic about the general business climate in your sector compared to three months ago?”, the responses were largely neutral. However, the Finance and Insurance sector expressed the most optimism (54%), while the Education sector had the most pessimistic outlook (50%).
The next survey will be conducted in January 2019.
On November 20, 2018, Vermont Secretary of Administration Susanne Young announced October revenue results for the State of Vermont. The month of October was predictably a bounce-back month for state revenues. Monthly revenue collections in the State’s General Fund and Transportation Fund both exceeded their respective consensus cash flow targets during October. Receipts in the State’s Education Fund lagged consensus monthly expectations during the month October because of disappointing receipts in the Sales & Use Tax. Overall, combined receipts in all three funds through October were above the cumulative $657.58 million consensus cash flow target by $18.69 million (or +2.84%) over the first four months of fiscal year 2019.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the third quarter of 2018, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the second quarter, real GDP increased 4.2 percent.
The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for the "advance" estimate issued last month. In the advance estimate, the increase in real GDP was also 3.5 percent. With this second estimate for the third quarter, the general picture of economic growth remains the same; upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment and private inventory investment were offset by downward revisions to personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and state and local government spending.
The deceleration in real GDP growth in the third quarter primarily reflected a downturn in exports and decelerations in nonresidential fixed investment and in PCE. Imports increased in the third quarter after decreasing in the second. These movements were partly offset by an upturn in private inventory investment.
The Consumer Price Index report, released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, provides the latest evidence that inflation is more or less in line with where the Federal Reserve Bank wants it to be. The Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in October on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.1 percent in September. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.5 percent before seasonal adjustment. The monthly increase was nudged higher by gasoline prices, but there was broad based support from other categories, principally shelter, used cars and trucks, and electricity. In contrast, food slightly declined in October.
Core inflation—all items minus food and energy—rose 0.2 percent in October following a 0.1 percent rise in September. Along with indexes for shelter, used cars and trucks and electricity, medical care, household furnishings increased in October; in contrast, communications, new vehicles, and recreation declined during the month.
Core inflation increased 2.1 percent over the last 12 months ending in October. The energy index increased 8.9 percent, while the food index increased more modestly, advancing 1.2 percent over the last 12 months.
The full press release can be found via the link below.
Next release is Wednesday, December 12, 2018, for the November 2018 Consumer Price Index.