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Monday, March 28, 2011

Personal Saving Rate and Income less Transfer Payments

by Calculated Risk on 3/28/2011 03:43:00 PM

A couple more graphs based on the Personal Income and Outlays report.

Personal Income less TransferClick on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This first graph shows real personal income less transfer payments as a percent of the previous peak. This has been slow to recover - and real personal income less transfer payments declined slightly in February. This remains 3.2% below the previous peak.

The personal saving rate decreased to 5.8% in January.

Personal saving -- DPI less personal outlays -- was $676.7 billion in February, compared with $710.5 billion in January. Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 5.8 percent in February, compared with 6.1 percent in January.
Personal Saving rate This graph shows the saving rate starting in 1959 (using a three month trailing average for smoothing) through the February Personal Income report.

When the recession began, I expected the saving rate to rise to 8% or more. However that was just a guess. After increasing sharply during the recession, the saving rate has been mostly moving sideways for the last two years - so spending growth has mostly kept pace with income growth, and that will probably continue all year.