Philadelphia’s Fiscal Troubles Preventing Strong Recovery

Audit Date: June 29, 2010
Audit Categories
  • Financial
Controller: Alan Butkovitz

Executive Summary

For Immediate Release:
June 29, 2010

Contact: Brian Dries

Philadelphia’s Fiscal Troubles Preventing Strong Recovery
Controller’s economic report also includes Financial Health Watch,
noting Philadelphia leads state in three of four health conditions

Click here to view the May Economic Report

PHILADELPHIA – While financial recovery continues for many economies, Philadelphia’s current fiscal troubles will prevent it from realizing an energetic recovery, according to City Controller Alan Butkovitz’ monthly Economic Forecast and Snapshot released today.

Philadelphia has lagged the nation in recent recoveries and the City’s low tax collections and high unemployment put it in a position to follow the same trend. As highlighted in the Controller’s report, the Moody’s Analytics’ May summary for Philadelphia notes that it does not expect employment to recover to pre-recession levels until 2013. The tourism industry is not expected to return to pre-recession levels until 2012.

Along with a look at the City’s future forecast, the Controller’s report also notes that Philadelphia leads the state in hospitalization rates for three of four chronic conditions. It ranks as the highest county for diabetes, asthma and heart failure.

Hospitalization rates are calculated per 1,000 residents. The City’s rates for diabetes (4.26) and heart failure (10.04) are double the state and national averages and asthma (5.40) rates are three times higher.

Based on the average Medicare payments for each condition, total Medicare payments for all hospitalizations for the four conditions in 2007 were estimated at $615 in Pennsylvania.

The Economic Snapshot and Monthly Forecast are compiled by the Financial and Policy Analysis staff. The City Controller’s office circulates these documents on a monthly basis to assist key decision makers in understanding and anticipating local and national economic trends.

The Monthly Economic Snapshot presents key economic data for the United States, the Greater Philadelphia Region, and the City of Philadelphia. The Monthly Economic Forecast Review is a collection of projections from prominent economic institutions and an analysis of their forecasts of future economic performance. These two documents together — the Snapshot and the Forecast Review — are a useful tool for policy makers and analysts in understanding our city’s and country’s economy.