Lund & Guttry LLP

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Website: www.lundandguttry.com

March 2019

March 2019 Short Bits

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CONSUMER EXPECTATIONS MIXED.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data conducts a monthly survey of consumer expectations for the future. It found that in November 2018, for the eighth straight month, consumers expected an overall 3% inflation rate a year later. However, consumer expectations for home prices decreased 0.2% to 3.1%, and earnings’ growth expectations fell for the second straight month to 2.0%, from 2.5% in October.


PRODUCTIVITY RISES.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that non-farm labor productivity rose 1.3% from the third quarter of 2017 through the same period in 2018. This reflects a combination of hours and real productivity growth. The increase includes a 2.3% increase in hours worked and a 3.7% increase in output.


JOB MARKET TIGHTENS.
In September of 2018 there were more job openings than unemployed people. There were 7 million job openings at the close of September 2018, while there were only about 6.1 million unemployed people. During the first eleven months of 2018 the number of unemployed persons per job opening ranged from 0.9 to 1.1. This is a dramatic drop from July 2009, when there were 6.6 unemployed persons per job opening.


WE LIKE OURS.
Healthcare is increasingly expensive and viewed by many Americans less positively on a national level. However, most people like their own healthcare and insurance coverage. These are the findings of a November 2018 Gallup Poll of 1,037 adult Americans. Eight of 10 survey respondents rated their healthcare quality as excellent or good, and 69% gave their coverage the same grades. Just 55% viewed healthcare in general positively, and only one in three thought positively about coverage nationally.


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