The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending increased by 0.3 percent in July, extending the 0.4 percent gain seen in June. More importantly, personal consumption expenditures rose for the fourth straight month. This suggests that Americans have begun to open their pocketbooks since the spring after being more cautious in their spending earlier in the year. Indeed, over the past 12 months, personal spending has increased by 3.8 percent, a healthy pace that makes consumption one of the bright spots in the economy. The savings rate edged slightly higher, up from 5.5 percent in June to 5.7 percent in July. Nonetheless, these data have largely been consistent with the recent pickup in spending, with the savings rate dropping from 6.1 percent in the first quarter of 2016 to 5.7 percent over the past four months. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending increased by 0.4 percent in June, mirroring the growth rate seen in May. More importantly, personal consumption expenditures soared in the second quarter, up an annualized 7.5 percent versus the more-sluggish pace of just 1.2 percent in the first quarter. This suggests that Americans have begun to open their pocketbooks since the spring after being more cautious in their spending earlier in the year. Indeed, over the past 12 months, personal spending has increased by 3.7 percent, a healthy pace that makes consumption one of the bright spots in the economy. With a pickup in spending, the savings rate has dropped from 6.2 percent in March to 5.3 percent in June. These findings are consistent with the most recent real GDP estimates, with consumers being one of the few positive contributors to growth in an otherwise disappointing report. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal income grew 0.2 percent in May, slowing a bit from the strong gain of 0.5 percent increase seen in April. Yet, personal incomes have grown 4.0 percent over the past 12 months. This continued to be a relatively decent year-over-year pace, albeit one that was down from 4.6 percent in March and 4.4 percent in April. At the same time, total manufacturing wages and salaries edged up slightly from $835.5 billion in April to $838.3 billion in May. This continues a steady increase over the longer-trend trend, up from the $780.9 billion and $804.9 billion averages of 2014 and 2015, respectively.
Meanwhile, personal spending also eased, with the growth rate down from 1.1 percent in April to 0.4 percent in May. To be fair, the April jump in personal spending following a stagnant March, making the April data something of an outlier. On a year-over-year basis, personal spending rose 3.6 percent, a modest pace that was marginally better than the 3.5 percent average seen over the past 12 months. In the May data, durable and nondurable goods spending was up 0.3 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending rebounded strongly in April after stagnating in March. Personal consumption expenditures rose 1.0 percent in April, its largest monthly gain since September 2009. Healthy gains in apparel, food, home furnishings and motor vehicle sales helped to buoy the spending data in April, with durable and nondurable goods spending up 2.2 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively. Over the past 12 months, personal spending has grown by 4.1 percent, up from 3.5 percent in the last release. This suggests that consumers have resumed making purchases, shifting from the caution seen in the recent months. That is an encouraging sign. With increased spending, the savings rate dipped from 5.9 percent in March, its highest level in more than 3 years, to 5.4 percent in April. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending remained soft in March, up just 0.1 percent, despite decent income growth. Personal consumption expenditures had increased by 0.2 percent in January and February. Reduced motor vehicle spending in March helped to drag down durable goods spending by 0.6 percent, but this was offset by a similar increase in nondurable goods purchases. With slower spending, the savings rate rose to 5.4 percent, its highest level since February 2015. Despite this, personal consumption expenditures continued to grow at a modest pace year-over-year, down from 3.9 percent in February to 3.5 percent in March. As such, consumer spending remains one of the brighter spots in the U.S. economy, even as it remains clear that Americans might be holding back somewhat from making larger purchases. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending rose 0.1 percent in February. More importantly, personal consumption expenditures were revised sharply lower for January, up just 0.1 percent instead of the original estimate of a 0.5 percent gain for the month. As such, the rebound seen in the prior report evaporated, suggesting that the public remains hesitant when opening their wallets. Durable goods expenditures increased by 0.3 percent in February, boosted by growth in autos and furniture spending, but have declined in three of the past four months. In contrast, purchases of nondurable goods fell for the second straight month, off 0.3 percent in February.
With slower spending, the savings rate inched up to 5.4 percent, its highest level in 12 months. On a year-over-year basis, personal spending has risen 3.8 percent since February 2015, down from 3.9 percent in the prior release. Therefore, even as Americans are apparently holding back somewhat, consumer spending continues to expand modestly overall. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending increased 0.5 percent in January, its strongest monthly gain since May. This represented a nice improvement after personal consumption expenditures rose just 0.1 percent in December. The jump in January stemmed mostly from an increase in durable goods spending, up 1.2 percent, with nondurable goods purchases unchanged in this report. Spending on services were also higher, up 0.6 percent. On a year-over-year basis, personal spending has risen 4.2 percent since January 2015, up from 3.2 percent in the prior release. This suggests that personal spending has rebounded somewhat after slowing at the end of 2015, bottoming out at 3.0 percent in October. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending slowed in December, up just 0.1 percent following a 0.5 percent increase in November. As such, it suggests that Americans pulled back their purchases at year’s end, mirroring other data showing soft retail sales. Indeed, durable and nondurable goods spending were both lower for the month, down 0.7 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively. Reduced motor vehicle sales (down 3.3 percent) pulled the durable goods figure lower. Service sector spending was up 0.3 percent. With that said, personal consumption expenditures have risen 3.2 percent over the past 12 months, a modest pace. This was down, however, from 4.0 percent one year ago. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending increased 0.3 percent in November, rebounding from being unchanged in October. Indeed, spending on durable and nondurable goods items were both higher for the month, up 1.1 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, which was encouraging. However, overall spending remained softer than desired, with a general sense that Americans are holding back in terms of their overall consumer purchases. The increases in goods spending in November followed two months of softness, and service-sector spending was unchanged for the second straight month. Moreover, personal consumption expenditures have risen 2.9 percent over the past 12 months. While this represents modest growth in personal spending year-over-year, this pace has decelerated over the course of this year. For instance, the year-over-year rate was 4.4 percent one year ago.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending remained soft, up 0.1 percent in October, the same pace as seen in September. Spending on durable and nondurable goods increased by 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent, respectively, but these data were held back by weaker spending on food and beverages (down 0.8 percent), motor vehicles and parts (down 0.7 percent) and gasoline and other energy goods (down 0.3 percent). The latter was likely the result of lower gasoline prices. Overall, these data tend to show that Americans are holding back a little on their consumer purchases, with the year-over-year pace of personal spending down from 4.7 percent in October 2014 to 2.9 percent in this most recent report. On the positive side, this suggests positive growth, and yet, these data also indicate that the public is saving more. The savings rate rose to 5.6 percent, its highest rate of the year so far and up from 4.5 percent twelve months ago. It was also the highest level since December 2012, when the data were skewed by the possibility of the “fiscal cliff.” Read More