- Bangladesh: Wage Earners Remittance Inflows, Money Supply, Monetary Survey (Feb), International Reserves (Mar)
- Israel: Consumer Confidence Survey, Business Tend Survey (Mar), Inflation Expectations (Apr); Oman: GDP (Q4), CPI, Real Estate Activity (Mar), Foreign Trade (Dec), Money Supply, Motor Vehicle Registrations, Hotel Statistics (Feb)
- Peru: Government Finance (Mar)
- US: Consumer Sentiment (Apr-prelim), CPI (Mar)
- Consumer Sentiment Detail (Apr-prelim)
- more updates...
Economy in Brief
U.S. Leading Economic Indicators Improve Modestly
The Index of Leading Economic Indicators from the Conference Board increased 0.2% during March (5.2% y/y) following a 0.1% rise...
Has EMU Austerity Been a Success or Failure?
The EMU-wide HICP fell again in March, marking the fourth consecutive month in which the price index has fallen...
U.S. Housing Starts Post Disappointing Rebound from Winter Low
Housing starts during March improved 2.0% to 926,000 units (-3.5% y/y)...
U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Trend Lower
Initial claims for jobless insurance in the week ended April 11 nudged up to 294,000 (-3.5% y/y) from 282,000 in the prior week...
Philadelphia Fed Business Conditions Index Ticks Up But Trends Sideways
The Philadelphia Fed reported that its General Factory Sector Business Conditions Index for April improved to 7.5 from an unrevised 5.0 in January...
European Auto Registrations Rise Again
European auto registrations popped in January and have continued to build on that strong gain...
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