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Economy in Brief

U.S. Personal Income Gain Light
by Tom Moeller November 1, 2004

Personal income grew just 0.2% In September following a downwardly revised 0.1% rise in August. Consensus expectations had been for a 0.3% September increase.

A third consecutive monthly decline in proprietors' income, down 0.4% (+4.9% y/y), generated the disappointment in total personal income growth. Wages & salaries rose 0.4% (+4.6% y/y), the third firm consecutive monthly gain. Manufacturing wages rose 0.3% (2.0% y/y) and wages in private service producing industries rose 0.4% (5.4% y/y).

Personal disposable income rose a scant 0.1% (4.6% y/y) following downwardly revised gains in months prior that have been weak since June. Adjusted for inflation disposable income was unchanged (2.5% y/y). Personal taxes rose 0.6% (5.3% y/y).

"Public Officials and Job Creation" from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is available here.

Consumer spending rose 0.6% following a slight dip in August that was initially reported as unchanged. Durables purchases recovered most of the prior month's drop with a 1.6% jump as light vehicle sales jumped 5.5% to the second highest level of the year. Purchases of non-durable goods rose 0.5% (7.3% y/y) and services spending rose 0.4% (5.6% y/y).

The PCE chain price index ticked up 0.1% as did prices less food & energy (+1.5% y/y).

A recent speech by Fed Vice Chairman Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. titled "Equilibrium Real Interest Rate: Theory and Application" is available here.

Disposition of Personal Income Sept Aug Y/Y 2003 2002 2001
Personal Income 0.2% 0.3% 4.6% 3.2% 1.8% 3.5%
Personal Consumption 0.6% -0.1% 5.9% 5.2% 4.6% 4.7%
Savings Rate 0.2% 0.7% 1.4% 1.4% 2.0% 1.8%
PCE Chain Price Index 0.1% 0.0% 2.0% 1.9% 1.4% 2.1%
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