Monday, April 30, 2012

Personal Income and Outlays... A Few Charts

The Economic Populist notes:

While disposable income increased by 0.4%, when adjusted for inflation, disposable income was actually a 0.2% increase.
Over the longer term and on a real per capita basis, March marked the third month in a row in which disposable personal income printed a negative year over year figure, which shows just how how weak the employment recovery has been.

On the flip side of the income / consumption equation, has been solid spending (both in nominal and real terms), as consumers have reduced their savings rate below 4% (the savings rate had moved above 6% during the beginning of the crisis).

One area of real consumption weakness... energy in real terms. I am no expert as to specifics of what is making up the decreased demand (clean technology, less people driving to work, more people taking public transportation, etc...), but I will say that demand does tend to decrease when the price of good or service quadruples like energy has in recent years.

Source: BEA