by Bill McBride on 3/31/2012 07:35:00 PM
Saturday, March 31, 2012
By request, a couple more graphs based on the February Personal Income and Outlays report. The first graph shows real personal income less transfer payments in 2005 dollars. This has been slow to recover - real (inflation adjusted) personal income less transfer payments decreased slightly in February. This remains 4.2% below the previous peak in early 2008.
From the BEA:
Personal current transfer receipts increased $3.0 billion in February, compared with an increase of $1.6 billion in January.Click on graph for larger image.
“Other” government social benefits to persons increased $1.3 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $15.8 billion; the January change was reduced $13.6 billion reflecting the expiration of the Making Work Pay refundable tax credit. Offsetting these changes, government social benefits for social security increased $2.9 billion in February, compared to an increase of $20.3 billion in January; the January change was boosted by a 3.6-percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLAs) to social security benefits.
The second graph is for the personal saving rate.
The saving rate decreased to 3.7% in February.
Personal saving -- DPI less personal outlays -- was $438.7 billion in February, compared with $509.5 billion in January. The personal saving rate -- personal saving as a percentage of disposable income -- was 3.7 percent in February, compared with 4.3 percent in January.This graph shows the saving rate starting in 1959 (using a three month trailing average for smoothing) through the February Personal Income report.
After increasing sharply during the recession, the saving rate has been moving down for the last two to three years - so spending growth has increased a little faster than income growth. This was especially true in February with spending increasing 0.8% and income only increasing 0.2%.
• Summary for Week Ending March 30th
• Schedule for Week of April 1st