Friday, September 30, 2016

Personal Income increased 0.2% in August, Spending increased less than 0.1%

by Bill McBride on 9/30/2016 08:38:00 AM

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

Personal income increased $39.3 billion (0.2 percent) in August according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. ... personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $6.2 billion (less than 0.1 percent).
...
Real PCE decreased 0.1 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.1 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent.
The August PCE price index increased 1.0 percent year-over-year and the August PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 1.7 percent year-over-year.

The following graph shows real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) through August 2016 (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 at consensus expectations.  And the increase in PCE was below the 0.2% increase consensus.

Using the two-month method to estimate Q3 PCE growth, PCE was increasing at a 3.1% annual rate in Q3 2016. (using the mid-month method, PCE was increasing 2.6%). This suggests decent PCE growth in Q3, even with the weak August report.