March 2016 Health Sector Economic Indicators Briefs

Economic Indicators | March 11, 2016

National health spending in January 2016 was 4.9% higher than health spending in January 2015, slightly above the December 2015 growth rate of 4.8% but well below the 6.8% peak in February 2015. Health care prices in January 2016 were 1.6% higher than in January 2015, up from 1.3% in December and the highest rate since December 2014. Drug price growth rose to 3.0% from 2.4% in December, breaking a 4-month string of lower readings. And the health sector added 38,100 new jobs in February, the sixth straight month of annual growth above 3%. Hospitals added 10,600 jobs, comparable to the 24-month average.

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