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Economy in Brief

U.S. Personal Income Gain Light
by Tom Moeller March 31, 2005

Personal income rose 0.3% in February. The modest gain followed a 2.5% January decline in the wake of Microsoft's dividend payment. Consensus expectations had been for a 0.4% rise for February.

Disposable personal income rose 0.3% (5.6% y/y) but adjusted for price inflation rose just 0.1% (3.3% y/y).

Wage & salary income edged up just 0.2% (5.5% y/y) in February, one of the weaker gains of the last year. Wages in service producing industries rose 0.1% 6.0% y/y) and factory sector wages rose 0.2% (5.5% y/y).

Personal consumption rose an expected 0.5%. Durable goods spending rose 0.9% (3.7% y/y) and spending on nondurables rose 0.6%, lifted by a 4.3% jump in gasoline prices. Services spending rose 0.5% (5.2% y/y).

The PCE chain price index rose 0.3% in February but less food & energy inflation eased slightly to 0.2%

Disposition of Personal Income Feb Jan Y/Y 2004 2003 2002
Personal Income 0.3% -2.5% 5.8% 5.6% 3.2% 1.8%
Personal Consumption 0.5% 0.1% 5.8% 6.0% 5.2% 4.6%
Savings Rate 0.6% 0.8% 0.9% 1.2% 1.4% 2.0%
PCE Chain Price Index 0.3% 0.2% 2.3% 2.2% 1.9% 1.4%
  Less food & energy 0.2% 0.3% 1.6% 1.5% 1.3% 1.8%
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