Monday, September 28, 2015

Personal Income increased 0.3% in August, Spending increased 0.4%

by Bill McBride on 9/28/2015 08:42:00 AM

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

Personal income increased $52.5 billion, or 0.3 percent ... according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $54.9 billion, or 0.4 percent.
...
Real PCE -- PCE adjusted to remove price changes -- increased 0.4 percent in August, compared with an increase of 0.3 percent in July. ... The price index for PCE increased 0.3 percent in May, compared with an increase of less than 0.1 percent in April. The PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.1 percent in May, the same increase as in April.

The August price index for PCE increased 0.3 percent from August a year ago. The August PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 1.3 percent from August a year ago.
The following graph shows real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) through August 2015 (2009 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.

The dashed red lines are the quarterly levels for real PCE.

The increase in personal income was lower than expected.  And the increase in PCE was above the 0.3% increase consensus.  Including upward revisions, this was a strong report.

On inflation: The PCE price index increased 0.3 percent year-over-year due to the sharp decline in oil prices. The core PCE price index (excluding food and energy) increased 1.3 percent year-over-year in August.

Using the two-month method to estimate Q3 PCE growth, PCE was increasing at a 3.5% annual rate in Q3 2015 (using the mid-month method, PCE was increasing 3.3%). This suggests the estimates for Q3 GDP will be revised up.