Consumer Health: Here’s a Treasure Trove of New Data on Spending and Saving

Personal income increased $67.0 billion, or 0.5 percent, and disposable personal income increased $64.4 billion, or 0.6 percent, in March, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. These numbers were above analyst expectations for a 0.3 percent increase.

These stats are also in stark contrast to what WalMart’s (NYSE:WMT) CEO said yesterday about consumers running out of money. Who should we believe? The choice, as always, is yours. Don’t Miss: Wal-Mart CEO: Here’s Why I Know More than Ben Bernanke.

Personal consumption expenditures increased $60.7 billion, or 0.6 percent — in line with Wall Street’s expectations.

In February, personal income increased $53.1 billion, or 0.4 percent, DPI increased $49.6 billion, or 0.4 percent, and PCE increased $94.4 billion, or 0.9 percent, based on revised estimates.

Real disposable income income increased 0.1 percent in March, compared with an increase of less than 0.1 percent in February. Real PCE increased 0.2 percent, compared with an increase of 0.5 percent.

Personal Consumption Expenditure Index 1

Wages and salaries

Private wage and salary disbursements increased $18.0 billion in March, compared with an increase of $23.9 billion in February. Goods-producing industries’ payrolls increased $6.2 billion, compared with an increase of $1.0 billion; manufacturing payrolls increased $5.1 billion, in contrast
to a decrease of $0.5 billion. Services-producing industries’ payrolls increased $11.8 billion, compared with an increase of $22.9 billion. Government wage and salary disbursements increased $1.2 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $0.4 billion.

Other personal income

Supplements to wages and salaries increased $4.0 billion in March, compared with an increase of $4.2 billion in February.

Proprietors’ income increased $4.4 billion in March, compared with an increase of $6.5 billion in February. Farm proprietors’ income increased $1.6 billion in March, the same increase as in February. Nonfarm proprietors’ income increased $2.9 billion in March, compared with an increase of $4.8 billion in February.

Rental income of persons increased $8.7 billion in March, compared with an increase of $8.1 billion in February. Personal income receipts on assets (personal interest income plus personal dividend income) increased $8.9 billion, compared with an increase of $7.7 billion. Personal current transfer receipts increased $24.7 billion, compared with an increase of $6.2 billion.

Contributions for government social insurance — a subtraction in calculating personal income — increased $2.7 billion in March, compared with an increase of $3.3 billion in February.

Personal current taxes and disposable personal income

Personal current taxes increased $2.5 billion in March, compared with an increase of $3.6 billion in February. Disposable personal income (DPI) — personal income less personal current taxes — increased $64.4 billion, or 0.6 percent, in March, compared with an increase of $49.6 billion, or 0.4 percent in February.

Personal outlays and personal saving

Personal outlays — PCE, personal interest payments, and personal current transfer payments — increased $60.7 billion in March, compared with an increase of $94.4 billion in February. PCE also increased $60.7 billion, compared with an increase of $94.4 billion.

Personal saving — DPI less personal outlays — was $651.2 billion in March, compared with $647.5 billion in February. Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 5.5 percent in March, the same as in February. For a comparison of personal saving in BEA’s national income and product accounts with personal saving in the Federal Reserve Board’s flow of funds accounts and data on changes in net worth, go to http://www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/Nipa-Frb.asp

Real DPI, real PCE and price index

Real DPI — DPI adjusted to remove price changes — increased 0.1 percent in March, compared with an increase of less than 0.1 percent in February.

Real PCE — PCE adjusted to remove price changes — increased 0.2 percent in March, compared with an increase of 0.5 percent in February. Purchases of durable goods increased 0.1 percent, compared with an increase of 1.9 percent. Purchases of nondurable goods decreased 0.3 percent, in contrast to an increase of 0.7 percent. Purchases of services increased 0.4 percent, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent.

PCE price index — The price index for PCE increased 0.4 percent in March, the same increase as in February. The PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.1 percent in March, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in February.