US Consumer Spending Rises the Most in 9-1/2 Years


Personal spending in the United States rose 0.9 percent from a month earlier in March 2019, beating market expectations of 0.7 percent and following a 0.1 percent gain in February. That was the biggest increase in personal spending since August 2009, buoyed by increases in consumption of durables, nondurables and services.

Due to the recent partial federal government shutdown, this report combines estimates for February and March 2019. Personal Income is updated for January and February and new estimates are available for March. Personal consumption expenditures are updated for January and new estimates are available for February and March.

Personal Income and Outlays, March 2019

Personal income increased $11.4 billion (0.1 percent) in March according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Disposable personal income (DPI) increased $0.6 billion, (less than 0.1 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $123.5 billion (0.9 percent).

Real DPI decreased 0.2 percent in March, and real PCE increased 0.7 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.2 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased less than 0.1 percent.

The increase in personal income in March primarily reflected increases in compensation of employees and government social benefits to persons that were partially offset by decreases in personal interest income and farm proprietors’ income.

In March, real PCE increased $87.4 billion, which reflected a $66.3 billion increase in spending on goods and an increase of $27.9 billion in spending on services. Within goods, increases were widespread, with spending on motor vehicles and parts the leading contributor. Within services, the largest contributor to the increase was spending on health care.

Personal outlays increased $126.5 billion in March. Personal saving was $1.03 trillion in March, and the personal saving rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income, was 6.5 percent.

Personal Income and Outlays, February 2019

Personal income increased $35.6 billion (0.2 percent) in February. Disposable personal income increased $23.0 billion (0.1 percent), and personal consumption expenditures increased $11.7 billion (0.1 percent).

Real DPI increased less than 0.1 percent in February, and real PCE decreased less than 0.1 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.1 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1 percent.

The increase in personal income in February primarily reflected increases in compensation of employees, government social benefits to persons, and personal dividend income that were partially offset by a decrease in personal interest income.

In February, real PCE decreased $2.8 billion, which reflected a $23.4 billion decrease in spending on goods. This was partially offset by an increase of $16.4 billion in spending on services. Within goods, food and beverages purchased for off-premises consumption was the leading contributor to the decrease. Within services, the largest contributor to the increase was spending on household electricity and gas.

Personal outlays increased $14.8 billion in February. Personal saving was $1.16 trillion in February, and the personal saving rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income, was 7.3 percent.

US Consumer Spending Rises the Most in 9-1/2 Years


BEA | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
4/29/2019 12:42:44 PM