Monday, August 30, 2010

Personal Income, Consumption Up; Savings Rate Falls 0.3 Points, Remains Historically High

Personal income grew 0.2% in July, following no growth in June. The increase was driven by greater wage and salary income, which grew 0.3% in July following a 0.1% decline in June. The reduction in Census workers subtracted $1.4 billion at an annual rate from July payrolls, improvement from the $3.4 billion that was subtracted in June. From a year-prior, incomes were 3.0% higher.

Personal consumption rebounded a modest 0.4% in July after flat or negative growth since April. Consumers grew more cautious in the spring, with April’s 0.1% contraction ending seven consecutive months of increases. Spending on both durables and nondurables rose in July, following three months of declines.

The increase in consumption came at the expense of the savings rate which declined to 5.9% in July, following over 6.0% readings in May and June. Despite the decline, the savings rate is trending near a high level not seen since the early 1990s. Consumers continue to bolster their balance sheets as the transition from government-supported income growth to growth driven by the private sector proves to be slow but present.

As measured by the PCE deflator, prices increased 0.2% after three months of negative or flat growth. Readings suggest inflation remains well-contained. From a year prior, the PCE deflator was 1.5% higher, the second consecutive month below 2.0%. The core PCE deflator, which excludes energy and food prices, was up 0.1% over the month and was 1.4% higher from the year prior.

10.08.30 (Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis)

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