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Daily Update

Current economic and public policy news from the Wharton Public Policy Initiative. Subscribe to receive the Daily Update by email.

  • As debt as a share of economic output has more than doubled over the past decade, some economists... June 14
    Economics and policy makers consider how much longer Washington can tolerate its growing deficit; White House expands health insurance options for small businesses; Left and centrist Democrats split on $15 minimum wage; US retail sales rose in May; U.S. industrial production rebounds in May. 
  • U.S. weekly jobless claims edge higher. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 3,... June 13
    Border funding revived in Congress; McConnell pressuring White House on budget deal; Puerto Rico restructures pension liabilities; U.S. weekly jobless claims edge higher; Import prices down in May.
  • Federal Housing Finance Agency director begins push for housing finance reform. After being confi... June 12
    Federal Housing Finance Agency director begins push for housing finance reform; Financial markets regulator takes a stand against climate change; Treasury ends SALT deduction workarounds; House opens tech antitrust inquiry for news industry; Consumer prices rise slightly on decline of gas prices; U.S. budget deficit up from last year
  • The Mexican government prevented further tariff increases by the TrumpAdministration by agreeing ... June 11
    The US Energy Department will prohibit its researchers from joining Chinese recruitment programs and will require all personnel to disclose connections to foreign government recruitment programs; The Mexican government prevented further tariff increases by the TrumpAdministration by agreeing to harsher immigration measures targeting Central American migrants; This Monday, President Trump shifted his focus back to the trade war with China, after gaining significant concessions from the Mexican government by threatening tariffs; The New York Fed reported this Monday that consumer inflation expectations fell to the lowest level since late 2017; US producer prices have increased for a second month in May, according to a Labor Department report. 
  •  Last Friday, the Mexican government announced that Mexico will implement strong measures to curb... June 10
    One of the central promises of the Trump administration has been the rollback of regulations on financial institutions that had been put into place after the Great Recession; The Trump administration announced that it secured significant commitments on immigration from the Mexican government, in response to the President’s threat of imposing a 5% tariff across the board on all goods from Mexico; The US government is looking to make it easier for licensed professionals to work across state lines; The number of workers hired by US businesses reached a record high in April.
  •  Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pledged on Thursday to donate $500 million in an ef... June 8
    Progress in U.S.-Mexico border talks; 17 major automakers push back on Trump plans to roll back fuel efficiency standards; Bloomberg pledges $500 million in fight against coal; FCC allows phone carriers to block robocalls; Wage gains slowed in May; FOMC to consider rate cut in June meeting.
  • Speaking to reporters in Ireland on Thursday, President Trump reminded policymakers and markets t... June 6
    Trump threatens tariffs on an additional $300 billion of Chinese goods; Arrests rise on the southern border while negotiations continue; SEC adopts new rules aimed at Wall Street brokers; Weekly jobless claims unchanged pointing to strength in labor market; U.S. trade deficit falls 2.1% in April; Labor Department reports U.S. productivity up 3.4% in the first quarter.
  • Mark Morgan, the new head of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) agency annou... June 5
    U.S. to get tougher on immigrant families; Trump moving forward with tariffs on Mexico; House Ways and Means Committee to hold hearing on “Medicare for All.”; Job creation reaches 9-year low in May; World Bank lowers 2019 global growth forecast to 2.6% from 2.9%.
  • The Justice Department will oversee any possible investigations into Alphabet Inc.’s Google... June 4
    US government agencies are preparing to investigate the largest technology companies for antitrust activity; President Trump announced a possible trade deal with the UK during his visit to Britain; Congress is facing a number of fiscal deadlines as they come back into session on Monday; Trump defeats House on border wall lawsuit; The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index fell by 0.7% since last month, from 52.8% to 52.1%; US construction spending was flat in April, signaling that the housing market is not expanding
  •  Companies such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc., and Apple Inc. ha... June 3
    US government is struggling to regulate large US tech companies; China and Mexico, two largest sources of US imports, have shown that they are willing to negotiate with the US over trade issues; Congress is facing a number of fiscal deadlines as they come back into session on Monday; The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index fell by 0.7% since last month, from 52.8% to 52.1%; US construction spending was flat in April, signaling that the housing market is not expanding.
  •  In a pair of tweets on Thursday, President Trump announced the U.S. will impose a 5% tariff begi... May 31
    Trump hits Mexico with a 5% tariff on all goods; Trump permits the year-round sale of ethanol; Interior Department to move forward with the sale of Alaska oil leases; China strikes back at U.S. Huawei ban with “unreliable entity list.”; U.S. consumer spending up 0.3% in April.
  • Investors are increasing their expectations that the Fed will cut rates amidst trade disputes. Th... May 30
    Trade tensions challenge Fed position; Trump official helps passage of Ohio House energy bill; Pelosi taking her time on new NAFTA deal; U.S. GDP growth revised lower to 3.1% in Q1 2019; Labor market still strong as jobless claims rise slightly.
  •  According to a Congressional Research Service (CRS) report released Tuesday, the 2017 Tax Cuts a... May 29
    U.S. Treasury declines to label China a currency manipulator; Trump’s tax law does little for wages; House Republican delays emergency aid package; Global bond yields falling.
  • These cancer-causing chemicals, known as PFAS, have so far been found in 43 states and in 98% of ... May 28
    Trump’s infrastructure plan remains at an impasse; Trump administration is expected to oppose legislation targeting harmful chemicals entering water supply; Major index finds that average home prices in major metropolitan areas in the US have increased 3.7%; Consumer confidence has hit a 6-month high.
  • With the White House working on several initiatives to increase price transparency in the healthc... May 24
    Executive order on healthcare price transparency; Progress stalled in drug pricing talks; Cabinet secretaries told to seek repayment from migrants’ sponsors for use of services; U.S. proposes penalties on countries it accuses of manipulating currencies; Durable goods orders slump in April.
  • The Trump Administration is expected to announce today a generous bailout package for farmers suf... May 23
    Trump can’t work with Democrats “under these circumstances”; Disaster deal talks stall; Political crackdown on Agriculture Department economists; Trump Administration announcing farm sector bailout; U.S. jobless claims fall more than expected; U.S. new home sales drops from near 11-1/2-year high in April.
  • As a direct result of President Trump’s regulatory reform agenda, Environmental Protection ... May 23
    Trump wants to focus on Trade Pact before infrastructure deal; Efforts to create a Do Not Track registry reinvigorated with new “Do Not Track” bill from Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO); The EPA plans to reform the cost-benefit calculations of air pollution on human life; No budget deal was reached between Congressional leaders and the Trump administration on Tuesday; The FOMC released minutes from its April/May meeting.
  • Since last year, the U.S. government has sharply curtailed the ability of American semiconductor ... May 21
    Since last year, the U.S. government has sharply curtailed the ability of American semiconductor companies to hire Chinese nationals for advanced engineering positions; Unless a budget caps deal is reached, the US military spending will face sharp cuts; More than 75 representatives from some of the largest companies in the US will address Congress tomorrow to call for a new climate tax; Sales of existing homes in the US have declined over the past two months.
  • Republican Senator Josh Hawley is planning to model this bill, named “Do Not Track,” afte... May 20
    A bill that would prohibit unauthorized tracking of users’ activity online proposed today; The Environmental Protection Agency is adopting a new method for accounting future health risks of air pollution; The Securities and Exchange Commission struggle to collect fines for securities law violations; Business spending in the US has slowed.
  • Trump readies new immigration overhaul. The President plans to put in motion a remake of U.S. imm... May 16
    Trump readies new immigration overhaul; Executive order aimed at protecting U.S. networks from Chinese tech; U.S. jobless claims fall more than expected; Housing starts rise 6% in April
  • Lawmakers scrutinize Chinese visa program on IP concerns. Republicans in Congress introduced legi... May 15
    Labor board issues key Uber ruling; Lawmakers scrutinize Chinese visa program on IP concerns; House votes to extend National Flood Insurance Program; Retail sales decline in April
  • May 14
    White House explores new farmer bailout plan as U.S.-China trade war heats up; Trade Dispute Between U.S. and China Deepens as Beijing Retaliates; Payday Lenders Mobilize in Support of Rule’s Repeal, Consumer Group Says; U.S. import prices rise; underlying imported inflation weak. 
  • In retaliation for Trump Administration increases on tariffs, the Chinese government has responde... May 13
    Trump’s Trade War Escalation Will Exact Economic Pain, Adviser Says; States fight Trump rollback of Obama light bulb rules;  China Hits Back With Tariffs on $60 Billion in U.S. Goods; U.S. Stocks Fall on Renewed Trade Anxiety.
  • In a Friday morning tweet storm, President Trump defended his tariffs, claiming that they would b... May 10
    Trump defends tariffs; House Dems begin insurance blitz; Consumer prices rose, but inflation remains tame.
  •  According to a diplomatic cable for Beijing, the Chinese government has amended its proposal to ... May 8
    Tennessee becomes first state to convert Medicaid programs to a block grant; Federal regulators feel pressure to hold Facebook accountable; China backtracks on US trade deal; Mortgage applications up as real estate market quickens.
  • U.S. officials accused Beijing of defaulting on their promises on Monday, threatening to implemen... May 7
    Trade fight escalates; U.S. pressures Arctic Council on mention of climate change; Job openings jump 7.49 million; Job surge points to tightening job market.
  • Following the renewed threats, the S&P 500 dropped 1 percent, with shares in industrials, sem... May 6
    Top safety alums joining the driverless car industry; Trade talks set to continue with China despite Trump’s tariff threat; Trump administration grants seasonal worker expansion; Stock markets drop as Trump hurls tariff threats toward China.
  • According to a Washington Post report on Friday, Facebook informed the Federal Trade Commission t... May 3
    Trump aims to protect health workers’ religious belief, Facebook agrees to greater oversight; Trump rids of offshore drilling rules enacted after BP oil spill; U.S. trade gap expands to $71.4 billion.
  • The Trump administration filed a brief in federal appeals court on Wednesday arguing that the ACA... May 2
    Trump administration files brief calling for the end of the Affordable Care Act; CBO publishes new report on Medicare for All; Lawmakers feel pressure to fix loophole in 2017 tax law; Jobless claims unchanged from last week.
  • On Monday, Trump released a memo calling for regulations to impose fees on asylum applications, l... April 30
    Labor Department decides that workers at gig company are contractors; President Trump moves to toughen the path to asylum; Congressional Democrats call for expansive infrastructure package; FDA struggles to keep up with booming cannabis market; Home-price growth slows to lowest level since 2012. 


  • <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>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>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>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>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>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>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>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>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 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>