2016 Economic Calendar
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Personal Income and Outlays  
Released On 4/29/2016 8:30:00 AM For Mar, 2016
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Personal Income - M/M change0.2 %0.1 %0.3 %0.2 % to 0.4 %0.4 %
Consumer Spending - M/M change0.1 %0.2 %0.2 %0.0 % to 0.3 %0.1 %
PCE Price Index -- M/M change-0.1 %0.1 %0.0 % to 0.2 %0.1 %
Core PCE price index - M/M change0.1 %0.2 %0.1 %0.0 % to 0.2 %0.1 %
PCE Price Index -- Y/Y change1.0 %0.8 %
Core PCE price index - Yr/Yr change1.7 %1.6 %

Spending is weak but income is solid. These are the latest results, and also the trends, for personal spending and income.

Spending, which is being pulled down this year by weak car sales, rose only 0.1 percent in March, even weaker than the 0.2 percent gains in February and January. Spending on durables, which includes vehicles, fell 0.6 percent in March to match the same size plunge in January (February was up a negligible 0.1 percent). Spending on non-durables, though rising in the month, showed net weakness in the quarter tied largely to what is a positive for the consumer, lower fuel prices. Spending on services is a clear weakness in the report, up an unusually low 0.1 percent in the month.

The income side looks positive throughout, up 0.4 percent in March following gains of 0.1 and 0.4 percent in the first two months of the year. The wages & salaries component rose a very solid 0.4 percent in the month while the savings rate rose 3 tenths to 5.4 percent. This matches the highest rate of the last three years.

The gain for wages is not boosting inflation, at least yet. Price data are soft with the core PCE up only 0.1 percent in the month and only 1.6 percent year-on-year which is 1 tenth lower than February and further away from the Fed's 2 percent goal.

Consumer income is an important positive for the economic outlook, offsetting weakness in spending and stubbornly low inflation. Though the gain for wages does hint at emerging pressures, this report doesn't turn up the heat for a June rate hike.

Recent History Of This Indicator
This report in February was the shock of the quarter, as personal spending inched up only fractionally and a big gain in January was revised almost completely away. And, despite another likely uptick on service spending, not much more is expected with the Econoday consensus at plus 0.2 percent, held down especially by weak vehicle sales. Personal income, which only edged up in February, is expected to rise a solid 0.3 percent in March. This report also tracks the Federal Reserve's central policy rate for inflation, the core PCE price index which held unchanged at 1.7 percent in February. Forecasters see the index inching only 0.1 percent higher in March which would likely pull down the year-on-year rate to 1.5 percent and further away from the Federal Reserve's 2.0 percent target.

Personal income represents the income that households receive from all sources including wages and salaries, fringe benefits such as employer contributions to private pension plans, proprietors' income, income from rent, dividends and interest and transfer payments such as Social Security and unemployment compensation. Personal contributions for social insurance are subtracted from personal income.

Personal consumption expenditures are the major portion of personal outlays, which also include personal interest payments and transfer payments. Personal consumption expenditures are divided into durable goods, nondurable goods and services. These figures are the monthly analogues to the quarterly consumption expenditures in the GDP report, available in nominal and real (inflation-adjusted) dollars. Economic performance is more appropriately measured after the effects of inflation are removed.

Each month, the Bureau of Economic Analysis also compiles the personal consumption expenditure price index, also known as the PCE price index. This inflation index measures a basket of goods and services that is updated annually in contrast to the CPI, which measures a fixed basket.

 Why Investors Care
Changes in taxes or social security cost of living adjustments can cause some sharp variations in monthly disposable income growth. However, on the whole, monthly changes in disposable income fluctuate less than monthly changes in personal consumption expenditures.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
Monthly changes in personal consumption expenditures are usually skewed by large changes in spending on durable goods. Spending on nondurable goods and services tend to be less volatile from one month to the next.
Data Source: Haver Analytics

2016 Release Schedule
Released On: 2/12/263/284/295/316/298/28/299/3010/3111/3012/22
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov

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