US Personal Spending Rises 0.4% in December

Personal consumption expenditures in the US increased 0.4 percent month-over-month in December of 2017, following an upwardly revised 0.8 percent rise in November and mainly boosted by spending on motor vehicles and utilities. Still, figures came below market expectations of a 0.5 percent gain. The saving rate dropped to 2.4 percent from 2.5 percent, hitting the lowest level since September 2005.

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $54.2 billion or 0.4 percent. Spending on nondurables edged down 0.2 percent, following a 1.5 percent jump in November; spending on durables rose at a slower 0.7 percent (0.9 percent in November) and consumption of services increased 0.5 percent, the same as in the previous month. 

Real PCE went up $34.4 billion or 0.3 percent, reflecting an increase of $11.1 billion in spending for goods and a $23.2 billion increase in spending for services. Within goods, new motor vehicles was the leading contributor. Within services, the largest contributor was spending for electricity and gas. 

Personal income rose $58.7 billion or 0.4 percent, following a 0.3 percent gain in November and better than forecasts of 0.3 percent. It primarily reflected increases in wages and salaries and personal interest income.

Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $48.0 billion or 0.3 percent and real DPI edged up 0.2 percent.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index increased 0.1 percent after a 0.2 percent rise in November. Excluding food and energy, PCE prices edged up 0.2 percent after gaining 0.1 percent in November. On the year, the PCE price index went up 1.7 percent and the core one increased 1.5 percent. The so-called core PCE price index is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, targeted at 2 percent.

Considering full 2017, PCE increased 4.5 percent, compared with an increase of 4.0 percent in 2016; personal income went up 3.1 percent, after a 2.4 percent rise in 2016; and DPI increased 2.9 percent compared with 2.6 percent. Real DPI increased 1.2 percent in 2017 (1.4 percent in 2016) and real PCE increased 2.7 percent, the same as in 2016. The saving rate went down to 3.4 percent from 4.9 percent in 2016, the lowest since 2007.

US Personal Spending Rises 0.4% in December

BEA | Joana Taborda |
1/29/2018 1:58:56 PM