The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that personal spending rose 0.3 percent in July, extending the 0.2 percent gains in both May and June. (The June increase was revised up from an earlier estimate of 0.1 percent.) Durable and nondurable goods spending both increased in July. Since the spring, we have seen consumer spending pull back from robust growth, even as purchases continued to rise at a modest pace overall. In this report, personal spending increased 4.2 percent year-over-year, up from 4.1 percent in the prior release. To put that number in perspective, it was higher than the 3.8 percent year-over-year rate in July 2016 but off from the healthy 5.1 percent pace in March. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that personal spending edged higher in May, up 0.1 percent, after 0.4 percent gains in both March and April. In May, personal consumption expenditures (PCEs) were lower on reduced goods purchases, down 0.5 percent, but service-sector spending increased slightly, up 0.3 percent. We have seen spending pull back from more robust growth at the end of 2016, but this report suggests Americans have begun to open their pocketbooks once more, albeit still cautiously. PCEs have risen 4.2 percent over the past 12 months. One year ago, the year-over-year rate was 3.5 percent, illustrating the pickup in spending since then, and yet, the current year-over-year pace is down from 5.2 percent in March and 4.5 percent in April. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending slowed in January after the strong gains in December. Personal consumption expenditures rose 0.2 percent in January, off from the more robust pace of 0.5 percent in December. In this latest report, weaker durable goods sales (down 0.3 percent), including motor vehicles, held back spending, whereas nondurable goods spending increased (up 1.0 percent). In general, Americans have been more willing to open their pocketbooks in recent months relative to a more cautious approach at this time last year. Along those lines, personal spending grew 4.7 percent year-over-year in January, its highest level since November 2014.
With the easing in spending, the savings rate edged higher, up from 5.4 percent in December to 5.5 percent in January. To illustrate the increased willingness to spend relative to one year ago, the savings rate was 6.2 percent in January 2016. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending accelerated at year’s end, rising 0.5 percent in December. This was its fastest monthly pace since September, boosted by strong growth in durable goods purchasing, which were up 1.4 percent in December. In contrast, nondurable goods spending was slightly higher but essentially flat. In general, Americans have been more willing to open their pocketbooks in recent months relative to a more-cautious approach seen earlier last year. Along those lines, personal consumption expenditures grew 4.5 percent year-over-year in December, up from 2.9 percent in March and its highest level in two years.
With the pickup in spending, the savings rate edged lower, down from 5.6 percent in November to 5.4 percent in December. This was the lowest rate since March 2014, and it was down from 6.1 percent one year ago. Therefore, the savings rate remained consistent with the narrative of better spending data as the year progressed. Read More
The Bureau of Economic Analysis said that personal spending rebounded strongly, up 0.5 percent in September after falling by 0.1 percent in August. The healthy increase stemmed from a notable jump in durable goods sales, up 1.8 percent and essentially offsetting the 1.9 percent decline observed in the prior report. This included strong growth for motor vehicles and parts, recreational goods and vehicles and furnishings and durable household equipment. Overall, Americans have been more willing to open their pocketbooks in recent months relative to a more-cautious approach seen earlier in the year. Along those lines, personal consumption expenditures grew an annualized 3.0 percent in the third quarter, up sharply from just 1.2 percent in the first quarter, with year-over-year growth of 3.7 percent. Indeed, the personal savings rate has fallen from 6.2 percent in March to 5.7 percent in September. 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