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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.

  • FDA Headquarters. he Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that it plans to lower the amount of nicoti... March 16
    FDA takes first steps to lower nicotine levels in cigarettes; Consumer sentiment increases to highest level since 2004; U.S. housing starts tumble as multi-family housing segment weakens.
  • The U.S. will impose new economic sanctions on two-dozen Russian individuals and entities for cyberattacks in the U.S. and... March 15
    President Trump unveils new sanctions against Russia; U.S. weekly jobless claims total 226,000, meeting economists’ expectations; Import prices rise more than expected in February. 
  • US retail sales fell for the 3rd straight month in February by 0.1%, the first time since 2012 that sales fell three month... March 14
    Right to Try bill fails in the House; Appeals court upholds Texas sanctuary city law; US Retail Sales Fall, despite rising wages. 
  • President Trump on Tuesday removed Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and replaced Mr. Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, the C.... March 13
    Mike Pompeo replaces Rex Tillerson as Trump’s Secretary of State; U.S. consumer prices rose 0.2% in February, matching economists’ expectations; U.S. Small-Business optimism rises to highest level since 1983.
  • The Senate will vote at 5:30 on Monday to end debate on a set of updates to a bipartisan bill that loosens strict banking ... March 12
    Right to Try bill up in the House Tuesday; Senate to vote Monday on Dodd-Frank rollback; Inflation expectations rise to highest levels in a year. 
  • Global trading partners in East Asia expressed dismay after President Trump announced his intention to institute a 25% ste... March 9
    US tariff announcement prompts trade war fears, scramble for exemptions; Trump administration blocks Idaho efforts to undermine Obamacare; Economy added 313,000 jobs in February.
  • The Satisfying Energy Needs and Saving the Environment Act (SENSE Act) would reduce pollution standards for power plants t... March 8
    House votes to loosen coal-fired plant air pollution standards; Layoffs down, but unemployment rebounds; Oil falls on US supply.
  • In response to an announcement by President Trump that the US intends to levy taxes on imported aluminum and steel, the Eu... March 7
    South Dakota sales tax case rises to the US Supreme Court; US juice and peanut butter face retaliatory EU tax; US Trade deficit over 9-year high; Private sector jobs continue to grow, beating estimates.
  • outh Korean officials have reported that the North Korean government is ready for a "heart-to-heart" with the US... March 6
    Clash on bipartisan bank regulation roll back bill; North Korea promises to stop missile tests if US holds talks; February’s consumer sentiment inched down slightly at the end of this month, but still beat economists’ estimates.
  •  President Trump’s announcement that he intends to institute tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 perc... March 5
    Trump’s tariffs spark NAFTA, trade war concerns; Trump approves Arkansas Medicaid work requirements; Activity in the US services sector of the economy slipped a bit in February, largely on limited employment growth.
  • he number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly decreased last week, hitting the lowest level in more... March 1
    GOP considers budget maneuver to help pay for additional ObamaCare healthcare funding; U.S. weekly jobless claims drop to lowest level since 1969; U.S. consumer inflation increases in January. 
  • Governor of Wisconsin Scott Walker signed a bill Tuesday to shore up state insurance markets, authorizing the state to app... February 28
    Governor Scott Walker signs Obamacare stabilization bill; House passes controversial anti-online sex trafficking bill; US economic growth revised down.
  • GOP senators said on Monday that next month’s government funding bill, known as an omnibus, will likely be the vehic... February 27
    Republican senators say that immigration deal likely to be incorporated into funding bill; Consumer confidence increases to 130.8 in February, the highest level since 2000; U.S. core capital goods orders fall while goods trade deficit widens.
  • The Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge to a lower court ruling that temporarily blocked the Trump administratio... February 26
    Manhattan appeals court finds Civil Rights Act covers sexual orientation; Supreme Court refuses to hear DACA challenge; Sales of new US single family homes fall again in January.
  • mericans’ outlook for the U.S. economy improved in February to the second-highest level since March 2002, showing th... February 25
    Bipartisan group of governors reveals new health reform proposal; Global trade flows rise at the quickest pace since 2011; Americas’ economic expectations reach second-highest level since 2002.
  • President Trump on Thursday signaled a dramatic shift on gun control after he held an emotional listening sessio... February 22
    Trump signals a shift on gun control; U.S. jobless claims near 45-year low as economic outlook brightens; Leading indicators beat expectations and post third straight month of gains in January.
  • The final version of the landmark Trans Pacific Partnership was released Wednesday, led by Japan rather than the Unit... February 21
    Trump administration opens access to insurance outside Obamacare; Final TPP deal leaves out US rules; Business leaders confident in economy, but worried about the skills gap; Oil falls on US stockpiles.
  • The White House said on Monday that President Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchase... February 20
    Trump administration expands access to health insurance plans not meeting ObamaCare requirements; Trump supports effort to improve gun background checks; Federal Chairman Powell taps two senior advisers.
  • fter the immigration debate heated up this week, the Senate failed to pass either a bipartisan proposal authored by centri... February 16
    Senate votes down both immigration proposals; Department of Energy must implement Obama rules; Consumer sentiment beats economists’ estimates.
  • President Trump told lawmakers and senior White House officials Wednesday afternoon that he supported a 25-cent gas tax in... February 15
    Trump says he supports 25 cent gas tax increase to pay for infrastructure; House votes to add ADA lawsuit requirements; Home builder confidence steady.
  • Republican Senators Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham have announced that a bipartisan working group dealing with immigrati... February 14
    Bipartisan Senate group has reached DACA deal; Consumer Price Index jumps, stoking inflation fears.
  • In the first four months of the fiscal year, the US budget deficit widened 11%, to $175.7 billion between October and Janu... February 13
    Trump administration faces Medicaid lifetime limit question; President Trump met with lawmakers on trade, with a particular focus on metals, after a report on metal imports was submitted to the White House last month; US budget gap widens. 
  • The President unveiled an infrastructure spending plan with a 1.5 trillion-dollar price tag financed mostly by state and l... February 12
    President Trump unveils $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan; Trump FY 2019 budget calls for 2% reduction in discretionary spending after 2019.
  • President Trump signed into law a far-reaching budget deal on Friday morning that will increase spending by hund... February 9
    Congress reaches budget deal to raise spending and reopen government; White House unveils proposals aimed at curbing high drug prices; Wholesale inventories increase 0.4% in December compared to estimate of 0.2% gain. 
  • The House of Representatives passed another stopgap funding bill Tuesday in a 245-182 vote.  February 7
    House passes another stopgap funding bill; Senate committee advances President Trumps EPA Deputy Nominee; Higher interest rates stall mortgage applications. 
  • Senate leaders are nearing a two-year budget deal that would help to prevent a government shutdown, according to Senate De... February 6
    Senate leaders close to making a two-year budget deal to avoid government shutdown; House bill cuts ObamaCare public health fund by $2.85 billion and reallocates it; U.S. trade deficit reaches a nine-year high as import levels soar. 
  • US Senators Chris Coons and John McCain have unveiled a bipartisan immigration bill that improves border security while al... February 5
    Senators release bipartisan immigration plan; Whitehouse Budget Director halts Equifax probe; Pay rises in US.
  • House lawmakers are looking at legislation early next week to keep the government open through about March 23, though... February 2
    GOP looking at vote to fund government through March 23; U.S. added 200,000 jobs in January, and unemployment rate remains at 4.1%; U.S. consumer sentiment exceeds estimates on jobs and income; U.S. factory orders up 1.7% in December, compared to 1.5% expected increase.
  • Key House Republicans are warming to a proposal that aims to bring down ObamaCare premiums and help stabilize the health-c... February 1
    House GOP warming to change that will help stabilize ObamaCare; U.S. jobless claims drop as job market strengthens; U.S. construction spending rises as private outlays reaches record high.
  • President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday to keep open infamous detention center Guantanamo Bay.  January 31
    Also in the news - Mnuchin calls on Congress to prevent shutdown by raising debt ceiling; Fed holds interest rates steady, in line with expectations; Private payrolls, labor costs up in the fourth quarter.


  • <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>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>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>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>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>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>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>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>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>