Friday, June 29, 2012

Personal Income increased 0.2% in May, Spending decreased slightly

by Calculated Risk on 6/29/2012 08:30:00 AM

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

Personal income increased $25.4 billion, or 0.2 percent ... in May, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) decreased $4.7 billion, or less than 0.1 percent.
Real PCE -- PCE adjusted to remove price changes -- increased 0.1 percent in May, the same increase as in April. ... PCE price index -- The price index for PCE decreased 0.2 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 following graph shows real Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) through May (2005 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.

This graph shows real PCE by month for the last few years. The dashed red lines are the quarterly levels for real PCE. You can really see the slow down in Q2 of last year.

Using the two-month method, it appears real PCE will increase around 1.4% in Q2 (PCE is the largest component of GDP); the mid-month method suggests an increase of less than 1% in Q2. Also - so far - it appears spending is soft in June, so Q2 PCE growth will probably be fairly weak.

Another key point is the PCE price index has only increased 1.5% over the last year, and core PCE is up 1.8%. And it looks like the year-over-year increases will decline further in June.