Tag Archives: healthcare

Other Data Provide More Confusion than Clarity

Personal income increased at a 3.5% pace in the first quarter, marking a fairly sharp acceleration from the 2.2% of the fourth quarter. Gains were heavily concentrated in social benefits, however, which also include health care, such as expanded Medicaid benefits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and may be inaccurate and a distortion of [...]

Weak GDP to Affect How Fed Talks about Data

Real GDP grew a negligible 0.1% in the first quarter of 2014, after expanding 2.6% in the fourth quarter of 2013. Much of the weakness is attributed to extreme weather, although some decreases were larger than expected. It’s important to note that GDP for this initial estimate is compiled from the earliest data available for [...]

Affordable Care Act Distorts Income and Spending Data Again

Real (inflation-adjusted) disposable income rose 0.3% in February after being revised down to a 0.2% gain for January. A jump in Medicaid payments associated with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continued to provide a lift for transfer payments during the month, while gains in wages and salaries were more moderate. Real consumer expenditures rose 0.2%,

ACA Boosts Income and Spending Data

Personal income rose 0.3%, while spending rose 0.4%, both much more than expected. Gains in wages and salaries and proprietors’ income bounced back after posting declines in December. Much of the larger-than-expected rise in incomes, however, may be traced to an increase of transfer payments by the government in cost-of-living adjustments and via health care. [...]

CPI Moderates in July

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.2% in July, after surging 0.5% the previous month. Sharp gains in prices at the pump were offset by declines in other energy prices, most notably natural gas. Prices for fresh fruits and vegetables also climbed, which is evident for anyone going to the grocery store. Constraints on wages, [...]

Employment Surprise to the Upside; Unemployment Rate at 5-Year Low

Payroll employment rose by 165,000 in April, a slight upside surprise. More importantly, data for February and March were revised up significantly, providing some reassurance that the economy will be resilient if not robust in the second quarter.

Consumer Prices Temporarily Surge on Gas Prices

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped 0.7% in February; almost three quarters of that gain can be attributed to a 9.1% surge in gasoline prices, which has since been reversed. We also saw increases in other energy measures that pushed up consumer prices during the month. Increases in food prices were much more benign;

December Employment Gains: Not Enough

Payroll employment increased by 155,000 jobs in December, after being revised up in November. Private sector jobs rose 168,000. Losses in education (teachers) continued while postal workers look like they are beginning to take retirement ahead of major budget cuts coming in 2013. Overall job creation in 2012 was little changed with only five thousand [...]