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Daily Update

Current economic and public policy news from the Penn Wharton Public Policy Initiative. Subscribe to receive the daily update by email.

  • Minimum wage increases in Seattle may have led to lower earnings for employees. June 27
    The Senate Healthcare bill is facing criticism from the right and left following a CBO report anticipating 22 million fewer Americans would have insurance under the law. Seattle’s minimum wage increase also received some damning analysis. The IMF has also downgraded its expectations for the U.S. economy. In better news, ECB President Mario Draghi has implied optimism about European economic growth.
  • Oil rig counts are up. June 26
    An appropriations bill in the House would raise military spending above the President’s budget proposal. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of government regulators when it comes to certain environmental regulations. Finally, oil rig counts are up for the 23rd week in a row.
  • The Supreme Court ruled on the immigration process recently. June 23
    The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that lying during a naturalization interview is not evidence enough to revoke said citizenship later in life. Trump is planning on pushing for stricter protections for the domestic steel industry in the name of national security. The labor market continues to tighten, although more indicators are showing that those benefits might not be reaching Americans with disabilities.
  • The opioid epidemic continues to plague midwestern states. June 22
    U.S jobless claims continue to be at very healthy levels and some of the only hiccups in the labor market now are issues with getting working visas for some companies. The Senate healthcare bill is moving somewhat to the center, due to Mitch McConnell’s narrow margin for error. Missouri has joined Ohio and Mississippi in trying to hold pharmaceutical companies to account for their role in the opioid epidemic.
  • International Shipping Trade June 22
    As the Executive branch is dealing with increasing criticism of its budget proposal, Republicans in Congress are beginning to see backlash over their healthcare bill. Overseas, Germany is increasing its trade with Asia as a hedge against potential trade issues with the United States.
  • A legal battle over President Obama's methane rules is kicking into gear. June 20
    Environmental groups have brought the fight over methane regulation to the court system, hoping to slow President Trump’s push for deregulation. The House and Senate are still grappling with healthcare and taxes, with little progress visible yet. President Trump is also taking unilateral action to protect domestic steel, which could cause international problems.
  • The US Capitol Building June 19
    Leaders in the House and Senate are increasingly being pressured to shorten or cancel the August legislative recess to focus on delivering legislative promises to their districts. As those talks stall, Brexit negotiations begin and economic indicators continue to come in strong.
  • Exports to Mexico are down. June 17
    President Trump signed his executive order promoting apprenticeships in the U.S. The Senate is trying to work in a more bipartisan fashion. Both consumer sentiment and U.S. exports to Mexico are down.
  • President Trump is changing U.S. policy towards Cuba. June 16
    The Federal Reserve continues to have a rosy outlook for the economy, largely driven by strong indicators in the labor market. The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to impose sanctions on Russia. President Trump announces changes to the U.S.-Cuba relationship.
  • Senate Republicans may not cut all ACA-associated taxes. June 14
    The Senate is considering not cutting all taxes associated with Obamacare. The Interior Department is also considering delaying implementation on a rule meant to cut methane emissions. It is also becoming more clear that the Federal Reserve will raise rates and that the slight drop in consumer spending earlier in the year was just temporary.
  • The future of health insurance is still unclear. June 13
    As Republicans are starting to feel emboldened by insurers leaving ACA marketplaces, top health care groups are opposing their House bill. Unrelatedly, the Treasury believes that the government will be funded through September, but fails to give specifics and the proposed “border adjustment tax” may get a phase-in period.
  • The CFPB, which was created in the wake of the financial crisis, is the subject of a recent Treasury report. June 12
    Apprenticeships are going to a centerpiece of President Trump’s plan to fill record levels of open jobs in the U.S. economy. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to lose some of its power in the wake of a recent Treasury report.
  • The Fiduciary Rule went into effect on Friday. June 10
    U.S. Household income grew to almost $95 trillion, with rapid expansion in Q1 2017. Trade for April, however, dropped, as did the pound against the dollar. The Fiduciary Rule, written to protect those saving for retirement, also partially went into effect.
  • Tax receipts are lower than expected in anticipation of tax cuts. June 8
    Many wealthy Americans are deferring tax expenses to 2018 in anticipation of lower taxes following tax reform this year. This may cause the U.S. to hit the debt ceiling earlier. Unemployment is also down, with the U.S. economy seeing very low jobless claims. Further, the ECB is expected to stop cutting rates, with the economy in Europe improving the most since the recession in 2008.
  • President Trump met with key transportation groups. June 7
    The White House invited transportation groups to discuss tax reform. The EPA delayed enforcement for a rule meant to curb ozone pollution. Job openings stand at 6.04 million, the highest ever recorded, while the housing market is shutting out young people.
  • Infrastructure spending is supported by Republicans and Democrats. June 6
    The White House is entering the second phase of their tax reform plan while also running into a few signs of opposition regarding infrastructure. The World Bank measured fast economic growth, but with signs for concern and the Department of Labor is looking for unique ways to cut costs.
  • U.S. has had 20 weeks of growth in oil rigs. June 5
    The U.S. has added oil rigs for the past 20 months and productivity has been revised up for Q1 2017, good signs for the economy. The White House is unveiling parts of their infrastructure plan this week, as well, which should attract bipartisan support. Dodd-Frank is also expected to be repealed in the House, but its future in the Senate is unclear.
  • Governor Brown is spearheading the fight on climate change with the full weight of California. Source: Wikimedia Commons. June 2
    States and municipalities, led by California, are committing to fighting climate change as the U.S. has announced its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord. Gov. Jerry Brown has created a coalition with the intention of meeting the goals previously agreed upon. Further, Elon Musk and Robert Iger have left President Trump’s business advisory council over his decision. Additionally, unemployment is at its lowest levels since 2001, although labor force participation is also down. The U.S. trade deficit also widened in April.
  • The Treasury Building. June 1
    The White House has disagreements with Treasury over whether an increase in the debt ceiling should be paired with spending cuts. Trump officially announced his intention to leave the Paris climate agreement, as well. The U.S. added more jobs than expected last month, however jobless claims were also above expectations. Construction spending eased in April, but is still up 5.8% from 2016.
  • The Supreme Court recently ruled on patents. May 31
    President Trump is expected to remove the United States from the climate agreement signed in Paris. The Supreme Court has defined new limits on the rights of patent holders. Credit scores continue to rise in the U.S., hitting new records as inflation stagnates in Europe and the Canadian economy is roaring.
  • (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) May 30
    Tax reform is next on the agenda for Congress and the White House and the details are beginning to prove difficult. The GOP has a variety of options to complement their proposed tax cuts, but the approaching debt limit may slow progress. The ceiling may also affect the policies of the Federal Reserve, which may now hold off on raising rates in June. All this as consumer spending is up, inflation is down, and oil prices continue to stay low.
  • The Flag of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance May 26
    As President Trump’s first trip abroad begins to wrap up, NATO leaders are left with disappointment after the President failed to reaffirm the United States’ commitment to Article 5, the mutual defense pact of the alliance. Meanwhile, domestically, GDP has been measured to have grown at 1.2% last month, consumer sentiment is up, and durable goods orders ticked down. The Senate is also considering healthcare reform, with a debate over preexisting conditions taking center stage.
  • Medical and health insurance claim form with stethoscope on clipboard May 25
    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has completed its summary of the revised GOP healthcare bill and found that it would leave 14 million more Americans uninsured in 2018 and as many as 23 million more without insurance in 2026. This as the Labor Department has found that the market is still strong, with jobless claims at their lowest levels since 1973. Trade data from April was also released, showing a widening deficit.
  • Mick Mulvaney, the White House Budget Office Director, addresses the press pool on the recent budget proposal. May 24
    The Federal Reserve decided not to raise rates today due to the slowdown in consumer spending that took place earlier in the year. The Fed believes that the economy is still healthy, however, and may decide to raise rates in June. Meanwhile, the President’s budget is being further analyzed. Massive cuts to Medicaid and food assistance programs coupled with increases in spending on Defense and border security define the budget, but it is receiving criticism for overly optimistic economic growth assumptions.
  • Congress will be considering tax reform, infrastructure spending, and health care in the coming months. May 23
    The GOP is looking ahead at tax reform cautiously after running into roadblocks with the American Health Care Act. Meanwhile, their colleagues in the Progressive Caucus are planning to release an infrastructure plan with more direct spending than the anticipated White House plan. The White House’s budget proposal is also facing scrutiny from many economists while the Federal Reserve is gauging the health of the economy before its June meeting.
  • The White House will release its budget proposal on Tuesday. May 22
    The White House will submit its budget proposal to Congress on Tuesday as President Trump is abroad on his trip to the Middle East and Europe. The proposal is expected to include large cuts to the EPA and social safety net programs while increasing spending on national security, border protection, and infrastructure. This is right after the Federal Reserve has released its annual survey of U.S. households, which found that households with higher education are continuing to improve, however, those high school or less education are increasingly struggling.
  • NAFTA flag. May 18
    GOP Must Agree on Budget Before Advancing Tax Reform; Democratic lawmakers ask to meet with Ivanka Trump to discuss women’s healthcare issues; U.S. Jobless Claims Fell for Third Straight Week; Conference Board’s Leading Economic Indicators Index Rose Again in April.
  • Cybersecurity and crime. May 17
    House lawmakers have passed a bill aimed at helping state and local law enforcement officials combat cyber crime; GOP senators are gearing up to shape negotiations over competing ideas from the House and administration and put their own stamp on U.S. tax policy; Senate Republicans are coalescing around the idea of giving more generous subsidies to lower-income and older people than what’s laid out in the House-passed GOP healthcare reform bill; Nearly a third of U.S. cities and their suburbs haven’t regained all the jobs they shed during the last recession.
  • Eurozone statue. May 16
    Dozens of Republican lawmakers are raising concerns or say they are undecided on Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) proposed tax on imports; The Trump administration is working on actions it can take without Congress to fight high drug prices; The Trump administration say their economic policies can deliver 3% to 4% growth year after year.
  • Housing market visual. May 15
    House Budget chair pushing for changes to Medicaid payments; Housing Sales Increase in First Quarter at Fastest Pace in a Decade; Trump Administration faces obstacles to goal of 3% annual economic growth.


  • <h3>The World Bank Data (U.S.)</h3><p><img width="130" height="118" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image484 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/130/height/118/484_world-bank-logo.rev.1407788945.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1406" data-max-h="1275"/>The <strong>World Bank</strong> provides World Development Indicators, Surveys, and data on Finances and Climate Change.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states" target="_blank">http://data.worldbank.org/country/united-states</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>MapStats</h3><p> A feature of FedStats, MapStats allows users to search for <strong>state, county, city, congressional district, or Federal judicial district data</strong> (demographic, economic, and geographic).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/" target="_blank">http://www.fedstats.gov/mapstats/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>USDA Nutrition Assistance Data</h3><p><img width="180" height="124" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image485 lw_align_right" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/180/height/124/485_usda_logo.rev.1407789238.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1233" data-max-h="850"/>Data and research regarding the following <strong>USDA Nutrition Assistance</strong> programs are available through this site:</p><ul><li>Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) </li><li>Food Distribution Programs </li><li>School Meals </li><li>Women, Infants and Children </li></ul><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics" target="_blank">http://www.fns.usda.gov/data-and-statistics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Internal Revenue Service: Tax Statistics</h3><p><img width="155" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image486 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/155/height/200/486_irs_logo.rev.1407789424.jpg 2x" data-max-w="463" data-max-h="596"/>Find statistics on business tax, individual tax, charitable and exempt organizations, IRS operations and budget, and income (SOI), as well as statistics by form, products, publications, papers, and other IRS data.</p><p> Quick link to <strong>Tax Statistics, where you will find a wide range of tables, articles, and data</strong> that describe and measure elements of the U.S. tax system: <a href="http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2" target="_blank">http://www.irs.gov/uac/Tax-Stats-2</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Center for Education Statistics</h3><p><strong><img width="400" height="80" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/400/height/80/479_nces.rev.1407787656.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image479 lw_align_right" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="80"/>The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations.</strong> NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences. NCES has an extensive Statistical Standards Program that consults and advises on methodological and statistical aspects involved in the design, collection, and analysis of data collections in the Center. To learn more about the NCES, <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/about/" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p><p> Quick link to NCES Data Tools: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/index.asp?DataToolSectionID=4</a></p><p> Quick link to Quick Tables and Figures: <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/quicktables/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCES Fast Facts (Note: The primary purpose of the Fast Facts website is to provide users with concise information on a range of educational issues, from early childhood to adult learning.): <a href="http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/" target="_blank">http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/#</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Congressional Budget Office</h3><p><img width="180" height="180" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/180/380_cbo-logo.rev.1406822035.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image380 lw_align_right" data-max-w="180" data-max-h="180"/>Since its founding in 1974, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has produced independent analyses of budgetary and economic issues to support the Congressional budget process.</p><p> The agency is strictly nonpartisan and conducts objective, impartial analysis, which is evident in each of the dozens of reports and hundreds of cost estimates that its economists and policy analysts produce each year. CBO does not make policy recommendations, and each report and cost estimate discloses the agency’s assumptions and methodologies. <strong>CBO provides budgetary and economic information in a variety of ways and at various points in the legislative process.</strong> Products include baseline budget projections and economic forecasts, analysis of the President’s budget, cost estimates, analysis of federal mandates, working papers, and more.</p><p> Quick link to Products page: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/about/our-products</a></p><p> Quick link to Topics: <a href="http://www.cbo.gov/topics" target="_blank">http://www.cbo.gov/topics</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED®)</h3><p><strong><img width="180" height="79" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/79/481_fred-logo.rev.1407788243.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image481 lw_align_right" data-max-w="222" data-max-h="97"/>An online database consisting of more than 72,000 economic data time series from 54 national, international, public, and private sources.</strong> FRED®, created and maintained by Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, goes far beyond simply providing data: It combines data with a powerful mix of tools that help the user understand, interact with, display, and disseminate the data.</p><p> Quick link to data page: <a href="http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series" target="_blank">http://research.stlouisfed.org/fred2/tags/series</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>Federal Aviation Administration: Accident & Incident Data</h3><p><img width="100" height="100" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image80 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/100/height/100/80_faa-logo.rev.1402681347.jpg 3x" data-max-w="550" data-max-h="550"/>The NTSB issues an accident report following each investigation. These reports are available online for reports issued since 1996, with older reports coming online soon. The reports listing is sortable by the event date, report date, city, and state.</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/" target="_blank">http://www.faa.gov/data_research/accident_incident/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>The Penn World Table</h3><p> The Penn World Table provides purchasing power parity and national income accounts converted to international prices for 189 countries/territories for some or all of the years 1950-2010.</p><p><a href="https://pwt.sas.upenn.edu/php_site/pwt71/pwt71_form.php" target="_blank">Quick link.</a> </p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>National Bureau of Economic Research (Public Use Data Archive)</h3><p><img width="180" height="43" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/180/height/43/478_nber.rev.1407530465.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image478 lw_align_right" data-max-w="329" data-max-h="79"/>Founded in 1920, the <strong>National Bureau of Economic Research</strong> is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to promoting a greater understanding of how the economy works. The NBER is committed to undertaking and disseminating unbiased economic research among public policymakers, business professionals, and the academic community.</p><p> Quick Link to <strong>Public Use Data Archive</strong>: <a href="http://www.nber.org/data/" target="_blank">http://www.nber.org/data/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>NOAA National Climatic Data Center</h3><p><img width="200" height="198" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image483 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/198/483_noaa_logo.rev.1407788692.jpg 3x" data-max-w="954" data-max-h="945"/>NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is responsible for preserving, monitoring, assessing, and providing public access to the Nation’s treasure of <strong>climate and historical weather data and information</strong>.</p><p> Quick link to home page: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/</a></p><p> Quick link to NCDC’s climate and weather datasets, products, and various web pages and resources: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/quick-links</a></p><p> Quick link to Text & Map Search: <a href="http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/" target="_blank">http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cdo-web/</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>
  • <h3>HUD State of the Cities Data Systems</h3><p><strong><img width="200" height="200" alt="" src="/live/image/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image482 lw_align_left" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/4/width/200/height/200/482_hud_logo.rev.1407788472.jpg 3x" data-max-w="612" data-max-h="613"/>The SOCDS provides data for individual Metropolitan Areas, Central Cities, and Suburbs.</strong> It is a portal for non-national data made available through a number of outside institutions (e.g. Census, BLS, FBI and others).</p><p> Quick link: <a href="http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html" target="_blank">http://www.huduser.org/portal/datasets/socds.html</a></p><p>See all <a href="/data-resources/">data and resources</a> »</p>