Here’s How New Personal Consumption Data Compares to the Past

The December Personal Income and Outlays report was published today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The chart below shows the monthly year-over year change in the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index since 2000. I’ve also included an overlay of the Core PCE (less Food and Energy) price index, which is a key measure watched by the Fed as a gauge of inflation.

The Headline PCE index has increased slightly in its annualized rate from 1.1% to 1.2% over the past month. The Core PCE index, however, has dropped from 0.8% to 0.7%, which is the lowest annualized rate in the 51-year history of this data series.

Personal Consumption Expenditure Index 1

For a long-term perspective, here are the same two metrics spanning five decades.

Personal Consumption Expenditure Index

(Note: I use the data from Table 9 in the full release and tables available here.)

Doug Short Ph.d is the author of dshort.com.

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