Thursday, March 29, 2018

Personal Income increased 0.4% in February, Spending increased 0.2%

by Bill McBride on 3/29/2018 08:48:00 AM

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

Personal income increased $67.3 billion (0.4 percent) in February according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $53.9 billion (0.4 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $27.7 billion (0.2 percent).

Real DPI increased 0.2 percent in February and Real PCE increased less than 0.1 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.2 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent.
The February PCE price index increased 1.8 percent year-over-year (up from 1.7 percent YoY in January) and the February PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 1.6 percent year-over-year (up from 1.5 percent YoY in January).

The following graph shows real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) through February 2018 (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 slightly below expectations,  and the increase in PCE was slightly above expectations.

Using the two-month method to estimate Q4 PCE growth, PCE was increasing at a 1.4% annual rate in Q1 2018. (using the mid-month method, PCE was increasing 0.4%). This suggests weak PCE growth in Q1.