Keeping you up to date on the latest data releases.
- Personal Income
Nominal personal income jumped up 0.5 percent (non-annualized) in December, following a slight 0.1 percent uptick in November, and is up 3.8 percent over the past year. Disposable personal income—personal income less current taxes—rose 0.4 percent in December (its largest increase in nine months), following a flat reading in November. After adjusting for price effects, “real” disposable income rose 0.3 percent during the month and rose 0.2 percent in the fourth quarter following two consecutive quarterly declines. Still, on a year-over-year basis, real disposable income has fallen 0.1 percent, providing little support for further consumption gains. As was hinted at by the surprisingly lackluster consumption growth in fourth-quarter real GDP, the monthly detail reveals downward revisions to October and November real consumption gains—which were both revised down from 0.2 percent to 0.1 percent increases. Also on a dour note, the trajectory in real consumption appears to have lost a little steam. Real consumption fell 0.1 percent in December, helping to pull its 3-month annualized growth rate down from 3.3 percent to 0.7 percent. On a year-over-year basis, real consumption is up just 1.4 percent, a considerably slower growth rate than at the start of 2011 (2.9 percent). As disposable income growth outpaced consumption in December, the personal savings rate rose from 3.5 percent to 4.0 percent—only its second increase in the past six months.