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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.

  • U.S. President Donald Trump asked securities regulators to explore replacing quarterly reporting requirements with half-ye... August 17
    With orders from President Trump, the SEC will begin a study on the effects of reducing the frequency of submitted financial reports; DC Court clears the way for Obama-era EPA chemical plant safety rule; Record low youth unemployment metrics suggest strong labor participation; Consumer sentiment was at 95.3 this month, the lowest levels since September 2017.
  • The U.S. and China reached a modest breakthrough in their trade dispute, saying they would hold lower-level talks later th... August 16
    Banks spoke out against the Trump administration’s plan to ease the Volcker rule, a post crisis restriction that bars banks from speculative trading with bank-owned funds; China breaks silence and announces intent to restart trade negations with America; President Trump relaxes rules on the U.S. government’s use of cyberweapons against adversaries; For the second consecutive week, jobless claims decrease; the slowdown continues as construction of new homes increased by less than 1% in July. 
  • Oil and gas companies bid on fewer than one percent of the offshore tracts made available by the Trump administration duri... August 15
    The Department of the Interior hosted an auction for oil tracts to be used for offshore drilling; Retail sales metrics show an increase of 0.5%; Industrial Output rose just 0.1% in the month of July. 
  • President Trump signed into law Monday a defense-spending bill that received widespread bipartisan backing for its efforts... August 14
    Trump signs bill that authorizes $716 billion in military spending for the coming fiscal year, while including several provisions to counteract Chinese aggression, such as the country’s increased military activity in the South China Sea, pursuit of U.S. technology, and spread of Communist propaganda; In response to collapsing currency value, Turkey boycotts electronics produced by the United States; U.S. import prices remaining stagnant in July; U.S. economy has a projected growth of 3.1%, due to an increase in government spending and tax cuts. 
  • A humming U.S. economy is pushing inflation up to levels that the central bank considers healthy. But there’s a down... August 13
    State insurance commissioners are restricting access to their sales in response to Trump insurance policy plans; A bipartisan group from the House Intelligence Committee have introduced legislation focused on securing the digital election infrastructure against cyberattacks; Wages struggle to keep up despite healthy inflation rates; Turkey’s lira fell again on Monday. 
  • Powerful health-care interests worried that a Democratic “blue wave” could give new energy to single-payer health-... August 10
    Top healthcare and drug companies form a coalition to support moderate democrats in 2020 midterms; the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban the widely used pesticide, chlorpyrifos; Consumer-price index rose 0.2% in July; Federal budget increases in July. 
  • Tribune Media has backed out of its proposed $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group and filed a $1 billion laws... August 9
    Democrats blame the Trump administration’s policies for wage stagnation; Tribune Media has decided to back out of a $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair and is looking to file a lawsuit against the broadcasting giant for allegedly breaching their merger agreement; the initial jobless claims decreased by 6,000 to 213,000. 
  • The federal deficit jumped 20 percent in the first 10 months of the 2018 fiscal year, the Congressional Budget Office... August 8
    China’s imports surged over the month of July in preparation for its trade battle with United States; The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service released proposed regulations; the federal deficits increased by 20%, with spending outpacing revenues by $682 billion, an $116 billion increase than over the same period in FY 2017.
  • Banks were among the top beneficiaries when Republicans slashed corporate taxes in December to stoke the U.S. economy. So ... August 7
    Trump administration has relinquished federal jurisdiction over certain water bodies and encouraged states and tribes to take over this responsibility; President Trump is expected to meet with the leaders of various companies that have been affected by the ongoing trade dispute; Despite Tax Cuts for banks, loan growth slows and 3,200 jobs were lost.
  • The Trump administration announced Monday the reimposition of sanctions on Iran that were lifted as part of a nu... August 7
    The Trump administration announced it would reimpose sanctions on Iran as part of efforts to undo the 2015 JCPOA; Trump FDA issues new guidelines on opioid-addiction drug development; US companies are reporting some of the strongest earnings growth since the 2008 financial crisis. 
  • A bipartisan group of senators is introducing legislation to impose "crushing" new financial penalties on R... August 2
    Bipartisan bill to place “crushing” financial penalties on Russia; In light of rising trade tensions, a top Chinese diplomat urges the US to “calm down;”  Jobless Claims index rose by 1,000 to a total of 218,000. 
  • The U.S. administration will give an update on its planned tariffs on goods from China later on Wednesday, White House spo... August 1
    Senate passes defense spending bill that defocuses procurement of Chinese tech; The US central bank holds interest rates steady; Manufacturing slows but hiring continues to rise.
  • President TrumpDONALD JOHN TRUMPClinton maxes out to 19 Democratic House candidatesTucker Carlson slams immigrant lawyer a... July 31
    The CEO of JPMorgan and Chase, credited the tax cut law signed by President Trump with helping boost the US economy; President Trump threatened a government shutdown if Congress failed to fund his border wall; In June, consumer spending rose a solid 0.4%; The S&P/Case-Shiller national index rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4%. 
  •   Pending home sales, a measure of signed contracts to buy existing homes, rose 0.9 percent in June compared to May, accor... July 30
    Representatives Jan Schakowsky and Rep Francis Rooney announce drug pricing bill in the House; CMS approves a plan authored by the Wisconsin state government and developed to lower premiums for health insurance plans in the state; US home sales climbed 0.9% from May to June, but those sales were 2.5% lower than in June 2017. 
  • The Senate cleared legislation on Thursday that would eliminate duties on imported raw materials used for produc... July 27
    The House of Representatives passed a compromise $717 billion defense spending package which instituted new provisions to crack down on national security vulnerabilities; The Senate passed legislation evening which would eliminate tariffs on imported raw materials that were not available domestically; The US government announced high second quarter GDP growth numbers at an annualized rate of 4.1%. 
  • A bipartisan pair of lawmakers on the Senate Finance Committee offered legislation on Thursday to overhaul areas of the IR... July 26
    A pair of bipartisan lawmakers proposed legislation to overhaul areas of the IRS with provisions aimed at improving protections for taxpayers and helping low-income Americans; Efforts to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein by House conservatives has divided GOP leadership; After hitting a 48-year low, Jobless Claims rise; The durable-goods orders rose by 1%, its first increase in three months.
  • The Trump administration will resume a program that pays billions of dollars to health insurers, just weeks after sending ... July 25
    Trump administration to allocate 10.4 billion dollars in payments to go toward helping insurers cover disproportionately sick and costly enrollees; The Senate health committee approved a bill banning “gag rule” which prevents pharmacists from telling patients if they could save money by paying for prescriptions in cash; Mortgage demand continues to decline.
  • Despite rise in prices, US private sector growth remains strong in July July 24
    President Trump announced that his administration is planning to help farmers who are being hit hard by billions of dollars in tariffs; Various business groups are expressing strong opposition to President Trump’s plans to place more tariffs on China; Harley-Davidson Inc. has slashed its profit margin forecast for this year due to tariffs; the US private sector experienced a robust rise in overall business activity.
  • A Republican lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled a bill calling for a carbon tax on Monday, saying he h... July 23
    Republican lawmaker has introduced legislation calling for a tax on carbon emissions that would fund domestic infrastructure investments; The bottom sixty percent of income earners have accounted for the biggest increases in consumer spending over the past two years leading experts to conclude that borrowing bolsters US consumer spending; US home sales fell for the third straight month in June.
  • Baltimore on Friday became the latest city to file a lawsuit against oil and gas giants seeking to hold the comp... July 21
    Baltimore filed a lawsuit Friday against large oil and gas companies that do business inside Baltimore; Nunes, an ally to President Trump, has introduced legislation to reduce capital gains taxes; US income inequality continues to grow. 
  •  Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) dropped its $66 billion bid for Twenty-First Century Fox Inc’s (FOXA.O) entertainment asset... July 19
    Comcast Corp announced that it will drop its pursuit of media assets owned by Twenty-First Century Fox Inc., focusing instead on its offer for Sky Plc; the National Association for Manufacturers (NAM) said that it supports the Senate Banking Committee’s consideration to have Kimberly Reed lead the Export-Import Bank; Unemployment lines across the US last week were the shortest they have been since 1969. 
  • The Trump administration started easing some standards for how companies discard coal ash, the toxic substances left over ... July 18
    The House Homeland Security appropriations bill revealed that it would set aside $5 billion to build President Trump’s proposed border wall; Under the Trump Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency started easing some standards on how companies discard coal ash; US homebuilding fell to a nine month low.
  • The European Union and Japan signed an agreement on Tuesday that will lift close to 100 percent of tariffs on products exc... July 17
    San Francisco residents will vote on whether the city should increase taxes on large businesses to help pay homeless and housing services; The European Union and Japan have signed an agreement that will lift close to 100 percent of tariffs on products exchanged between the two; Speaker Ryan Paul scraps “abolish ICE’ vote; US industrial production increased, in part due to a sharp rebound in manufacturing and increased mining outputs. 
  • A federal judge on Monday temporarily halted the deportations of families that have been recently reunited after... July 16
    The Trump administration is temporarily barred from deporting reunited families by Federal Judge; US business inventories rose in the month of May, as sales increased; The International Monetary Fund’s projections showed a 3.9% growth rate for the global economy in 2018; Retail sales increased 0.5% in the month of June. 
  • http://thehill.com/policy/finance/396879-despite-trump-efforts-us-trade-deficit-with-china-hits-record-reuters July 13
    Metrics reveal that the US’ trade deficit with China has actually increased; Consumer sentiment fell to 97.1, a six month low, below estimates of 98.2 this past month; US import prices fell unexpectedly in the month of June; Prices for consumers rose rapidly last month. 
  •  China on Thursday said foreign firms operating in China would suffer in a trade war, urging U.S. companies to lobby ... July 12
    Shahira Knight, a top White House economic adviser, is to become the President’s next emissary to Capitol Hill; Beijing urges US firms operating in China to lobby against Trade War; The Initial jobless claims index sank in the first week of July toward the lowest levels in almost 50 years; Consumer prices rose in June at the highest yearly rate since 2012. 
  • The Trump administration on Tuesday announced a package of tariffs targeting Chinese exports valued roughly at $200 billion. July 11
    The Trump administration cut funding previously allocated to help people get insurance under the Affordable Care Act; The Trump administration introduced a set of new tariffs, targeting $200 billion dollars of Chinese goods, a figure roughly equivalent to the total size of Chinese exports to the United States; The US’ second quarter GDP growth is estimated to be 3.9% annualized. 
  • President TrumpDONALD JOHN TRUMPMcConnell to meet with Trump's Supreme Court pick TuesdayKavanaugh offers lengthy judicial... July 10
    President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court; China has imposed retaliatory tariffs on American optical fiber products; U.S. job openings ease from a record to 6.64 Million in May. 
  • The Trump administration on Saturday halted billions of dollars in payments to health insurers under the Obamacare healthc... July 9
    The Trump administration announced that it would halt $10.4 billion of risk adjustment payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act; Increases in wages are beginning to chip away at corporate profits in some sectors; Consumer borrowing rose in the month of May to 24.6 billion dollars. 
  • Commerce Department said the trade deficit, the gap between what the U.S. exports and what it imports from foreign countri... July 6
    A federal court ruled that the department of Health and Human Services would need to unite children with their parents; The economy added 213,000 jobs in the month of June; Trade deficit falls as tariff conflict heats up. 


  • <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>
  • <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>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>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>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>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 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>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>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>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>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>