Friday, March 30, 2012

Personal Income increased 0.2% in February, Spending 0.8%

by Bill McBride on 3/30/2012 08:30:00 AM

The BEA released the Personal Income and Outlays report for February:

Personal income increased $28.2 billion, or 0.2 percent ... in February, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $86.0 billion, or 0.8 percent.
...
Real PCE -- PCE adjusted to remove price changes -- increased 0.5 percent in February, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in January. ... The price index for PCE increased 0.3 percent in February, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in January. The PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent.
The following graph shows real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) through February (2005 dollars). Note that the y-axis doesn't start at zero to better show the change.

Personal Consumption Expenditures Click on graph for larger image.

PCE increased 0.8% in February, and real PCE increased 0.5%. January was revised up from unchanged to a 0.2% increase.

Note: The PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.1 percent.

The personal saving rate was at 3.7% in February.

This was a sharp increase in spending in February (and January spending was revised up). Using the two-month method, it appears real PCE will increase around 2.0% in Q1 (PCE is the largest component of GDP); the mid-month method suggests an increase closer to 2.9%.

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