- US: Household Employment for States and Regions (Mar)
- US: Regional Payroll Employment (Mar)
- Hungary: International Reserves (Mar); Slovenia: PPI (Mar)
- Netherlands: Consumer Confidence Survey (Apr)
- Italy: Industrial Turnover & Orders (Feb)
- Japan: Tertiary Industry Activity Indexes, Wage Indexes (Feb)
- Bangladesh: IP (Dec); Thailand: Agricultural Price Indexes (Mar)
- US: Initial Claims by State (Mar)
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
U.S. Initial Claims for Jobless Insurance Near 2007 Low
The labor market's recovery remained in evidence last week as initial unemployment insurance claims totaled 304,000...
European Car Sales Rise But Lose Momentum
Auto registrations in Europe have risen again on a year-over-year basis, posting an increase of 1.6% over 12 months...
U.S. Industrial Production Records a Surprising Gain
Industrial output in the U.S. increased 0.7% last month (3.7% y/y) following a 1.2% jump during February...
U.S. Mortgage Loan Applications Rebound as Interest Rates Decline
The MBA total Mortgage Market Volume Index jumped 4.3% last week (-57.7% y/y) to the highest level in four weeks...
U.S. Housing Starts Exhibit Disappointing Rebound
Housing starts in March gained 2.8% to 946,000 units (AR) from 920,000 in February...
U.S. Consumer Price Index Firms
Consumer prices increased 0.2% (1.5% y/y) during March following two months of 0.1% uptick...
by Tom Moeller March 30, 2012
Personal income increased just 0.2% during February after lessened gains of 0.2% and 0.4% during the prior two months. The latest rise missed expectations for a 0.4% gain. Wage & salary disbursements reflected the improved gains in payroll employment with a 0.3% rise (4.4% y/y). However, the firm gain was offset by another dip in interest income (-3.1% y/y) and just a 0.1% rise (1.0% y/y) in transfer receipts. Disposable personal income rose 0.2% (2.6% y/y) although take-home pay, when adjusted for price inflation, slipped 0.1% (+0.3% y/y), down for the third month in the last four.
Despite these disappointments consumers kept spending. Personal consumption expenditures jumped 0.8% (4.1% y/y), their strongest gain in a year. Earlier figures were revised upward. Expectations had been for a 0.6% rise. The increase was driven by a 3.9% rise (2.6% y/y) in spending on gasoline, a 3.3% gain (9.5% y/y) in motor vehicles and a 1.2% increase (4.4% y/y) in clothing. Spending on recreation also rose a firm 0.9% (7.5% y/y). The rise in gasoline outlays actually translated into a 7.0% y/y decline when adjusted for higher prices. Overall, when adjusted for inflation real PCE increased 0.5% (1.8% y/y), the best gain since June.
All this spending came at the expense of savings. The personal savings rate fell to 3.7% from a downwardly revised 4.3% during January. It remained below the 5.0% level twelve months ago and a 2010 monthly high of 5.8%.
The PCE chain price index rose 0.3% last month (2.3% y/y), the strongest increase since August. The increase reflected a 5.7% rise (10.4% y/y) in gasoline prices after a 0.9% January rise. The core PCE price index ticked up 0.1% and the y/y increase of 1.9% was up from the record low 12-month change of 0.9% reached last December.
The personal income & consumption figures are available in Haver's USECON and USNA databases. The expectations figures are in the AS1REPNA database.
Okun's Law and Long Expansions from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is available here.
|Personal Income & Outlays(%)||Feb||Jan||Dec||Y/Y||2011||2010||2009|
|Wages & Salaries||0.3||0.4||0.4||4.4||4.3||2.2||-4.3|
|Personal Saving Rate||3.7||4.3||4.7||5.0
|PCE Chain Price Index||0.3||0.2||0.1||2.3||2.5||1.8||0.2|
|Less Food & Energy||0.1||0.2||0.2||1.9||1.4||1.4||1.6|
|Real Personal Consumption