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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.

  • BMW logo May 24
    President Trump is considering a new 25% tariff on imported cars after Commerce Secretary Ross announced that they are critical for national security. The House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act, the annual defense bill, that amounts to $717 billion in expenditures.President Trump signed into law a change in the Dodd-Frank Act.
  • President Trump figuratively cuts Dodd Frank May 23

    The House of Representatives voted on two bills, one aimed at easing regulations on many but the largest banks, the second allowing patients to bypass the FDA in requesting companies’ approval on experimental drugs. Mortgage applications are down this week due to sharp rate increases.

  •   May 22
    The Senate Banking Committee approved an amendment that would block President Trump from easing sanctions on Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE without first certifying to Congress that ZTE is following US sanctions; US stock markets were mainly down today.
  • Supreme Court May 21
    Supreme court curtails labor rights in class action suit case; China trade fears ease as Trump backs down; US Job market optimism at 17-year high.
  • Farmer working the fields May 18
    Acting Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to be nominated for role; the Farm Bill failed to pass the US House of Representatives; jobless claims total greater than expected; and the Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index, gained for the 6th straight month.
  •   May 17
    The FDA begins naming companies that have stifled competition, while the Senate voted to reinstate the FCC’s net neutrality rules; Fed manufacturing gauges show increased activity, while 30-year fixed mortgages increased last week.
  •   May 16
    Governor Scott of Vermont legalized the importation of prescription drugs from Canada, against the wishes of Trump administration;Mortgage applications for the week decline, while housing starts miss expected targets.
  • Entrance of The Home Depot in Newington, CT May 15

    President Trump is considering easing some restrictions on Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE; the Dow dropped 186 points due to lower than expected Home Depot earnings and higher interest rates.

  • Democrats will force a Senate vote on Wednesday on a bill that would save the Federal Communication Commission May 14
    Senate Democrats force a vote in the Senate on the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality; the US Supreme Court ruled that federal law prohibiting sports betting intrudes on states’ rights; Euro-zone economic slow-down; President Trump’s ZTE tweets has eased investors’ concerns about the trade conflict. 
  • Seven senators are calling on President Trump to support their legislation that would provide a $1 billion boost... May 11
    Seven senators urge President Trump to support their legislation that would provide a $1 billion boost for research on a universal flu vaccine; The House Armed Services Committee passed a $716 billion defense policy bill; Consumer sentiment was slightly higher than anticipated in the beginning of May. 
  • Republican Sen. John Kennedy (La.) on Thursday said Medicaid work requirements should be mandatory for states, a... May 10
    Republican Sen. John Kennedy (La.) said that Medicaid work requirements should be mandatory for states; Metrics indicate that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2 percent after slipping 0.1 percent in March; U.S. weekly jobless claims total 211,000 vs. 218,000 expected.
  • US President Donald Trump has walked away from the Iran nuclear deal, breaking with allies in Europe and le... May 9
    President Trump requests for Congressional approval to rescind $15.4 billion from the omnibus spending package; President Trump pulls the US out of the Iran deal; Producer price index growth misses expectations
  • One of Barack Obama’s top food policy rules has escaped Donald Trump’s war on regulations. May 7
    A request to waive imposing lifetime limits on Medicaid benefits was rejected by the Trump administration; An Obama-administration nutrition rule will go into effect, forcing food purveyors to post calorie counts; Consumer housing confidence jumped to its highest levels on record this past month.
  • The White House plans to ask Congress for $11 billion in discretionary spending cuts, a GOP aide told The Hill, a signific... May 3
    White House to request $11 billion in spending cuts from Congress; Factory orders rose 1.6% in March, the seventh increase in the last eight months; New applications for U.S. jobless benefits increased less than expected last week. 
  • WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Texas and six other Republican-governed states on Tuesday sued the Trump administration to try to e... May 2
    Seven Republican states sued the administration yesterday to try and end the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA); The US economy adds 204,000 jobs in the month of May. 
  • Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price on Tuesday said that the repeal of ObamaCare’s ind... May 1
    Repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate is anticipated to increase costs; Though construction spending decreases in March, it is stronger for the year to date; U.S. factory activity slowed for a second straight month in April.
  • House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) on Thursday said he could drop his demand t... April 27
    House Financial Services Committee Chairman said that he could drop his demand to amend a bipartisan Senate bill to loosen strict financial rules on the Dodd-Frank Act; GDP increased at a 2.3 percent annual rate; Consumer sentiments reflect the prominence of political debate such as those surrounding tax reform and trade policies in the ways in which they have influenced the U.S. economy.
  • Initial jobless claims fell by 24,000 to 209,000 in the week ended April 21, the government said Thursday. Economists... April 26
    The House and Senate make little progress in supporting legislation related to helping sick patients get access to experimental drugs; Metrics show U.S. durable goods orders increase in the month of March; Jobless claims fall to lowest level in 48 years.
  • The Senate Health Committee unanimously voted Tuesday to send the panel’s bipartisan opioid bill to the chamber’s ... April 24
    Senate Health panel votes to send the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 to the chamber’s floor; Newly constructed home sales surged, and earlier estimates were revised up; Metrics indicate that U.S. consumer attitudes increased in April, recovering from a decrease in March. 
  • The nation's largest trade group for health insurance companies is sounding the alarm on a proposal from the Trump ad... April 23
    Courts deny Trump Administration efforts to roll back fuel efficiency standards for cars; Health insurance trade groups challenge the Trump administration’s efforts to extend the maximum length of short term health insurance plans from 3 months to 12 months; US home sales increased over the month of March. 
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Thursday that he would introduce legislation to decriminalize mariju... April 20
    Senator Schumer announced in a Vice interview that he would be introducing legislation aimed to decriminalize marijuana; Barclays economists cut their expected growth forecast for GDP projections; The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco has indicated a dramatic change in economic conditions has lowered the neutral interest rate.
  • House Republicans are pushing for stricter work requirements in the food stamp program, the first concrete legislative ste... April 19
    House Republicans push for stricter work requirements for food stamp program; New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits decreased last week, indicating continued job growth; Monthly metrics indicate a continued rise in U.S. business trends in March.
  • Top Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Health Committee are pressing the Trump administration to April 17
    Both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Health Committee urge Trump to implement mental health parity requirements; As the construction of multi-family housing units rebounded, U.S. home building increased in March as well; Industrial production in March rose 0.5%.
  • The Trump administration is seeking to completely revamp the country’s social safety net, targeting recipients of Me... April 16
    Trump issues an executive order that works to help welfare recipients reach financial independence; US offers $25 million grant for cybersecurity research; Metrics show a recovery of monthly retail sales numbers.
  •                              New Jersey lawmakers have sent a bill to the governor that would reinstate ObamaCare April 13
    Lawmakers in New Jersey work to reinstate ObamaCare; President Trump instructs the EPA to expedite decision making on air quality permits; Consumer sentiments fall below expected numbers in April.
  • President TrumpDONALD JOHN TRUMPCarter urges Trump to keep country at peace: Any nuclear exchange could involve 'catastrop... April 12
    President Trump instructs top administrators to explore re-entering the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement;  According to the Labor Department, initial claims for state unemployment benefits drop; U.S. import prices remain unchanged in March.
  • s geopolitical tension in the Middle East rise and the US posts modest declines in production, oil prices rose to their hi... April 11
    President pushes for increased regulation and penalization of online platforms that facilitate sex trafficking; Consumer prices fall in March due to declining gasoline prices; Though oil prices rose to their highest levels in three years, they are expected to drop with increasing tensions from “trade war.”
  • China stepped up its attacks on the Trump administration on Monday over billions of dollars worth of threatened tariffs, s... April 9
    Various federal agencies work to streamline the environmental review process for new construction projects; China claims current tensions surrounding trade are at the sole provocation of the US; The Congressional Budget Office indicates that the President’s new tax law will generate growth.
  • President Trump said Thursday that the United States would consider slapping tariffs on an additional 0 billion in Chinese... April 6
    U.S. Surgeon general encourages likely opioid abusers to carry naloxone or other potentially life saving drugs; America considers levying heavier tariff policies on Chinese merchandise in response to China’s new trade policy; 103,000 new jobs were created in the last month.
  • U.S. consumer sentiment advanced last week to a fresh 17-year high as greater optimism about household finances and the bu... April 5
    GOP lawmakers are considering lifting limits on Medicaid payments to combat the opioid epidemic; Metrics show an increase in US jobless claims and a tightening of the labour market; US consumer comforts increase reflecting a higher optimism in household finances.


  • <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>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>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>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 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>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>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>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 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>