2018 Economic Calendar
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Personal Income and Outlays  
Released On 3/29/2018 8:30:00 AM For Feb, 2018
PriorConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Personal Income - M/M change0.4 %0.4 %0.3 % to 0.9 %0.4 %
Consumer Spending - M/M change0.2 %0.2 %-0.1 % to 0.4 %0.2 %
PCE Price Index M/M change0.4 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.2 %0.2 %
Core PCE price index - M/M change0.3 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.2 %0.2 %
PCE Price Index Y/Y change1.7 %1.7 %1.7 % to 1.7 %1.8 %
Core PCE price index - Yr/Yr change1.5 %1.5 %1.5 % to 1.6 %1.6 %

Highlights
Inflation data are inching higher while softness in spending is offset by strength in wages. The core PCE price index managed only an as-expected 0.2 percent gain in February though the year-on-year rate moved a notch higher to 1.6 percent, which is still subdued but just better than Econoday's consensus. Overall prices also rose 0.2 percent with this yearly rate also up 1 tenth, at 1.8 percent. Movement is slow but is consistent with the Fed's expectations for a gradual rise this year to their 2 percent inflation target.

The strongest news in the report comes from the wages & salaries component of personal income which posted a fourth straight sharp gain, at 0.5 percent. This helped total income which rose 0.4 percent for a third straight month and also helped the savings rate which rose 2 tenths to a still modest 3.4 percent.

Also helping savings, unfortunately for retailers at least, was softness in spending which gained only 0.2 percent for the second straight month. Spending on services, at 0.3 percent, continues to hold up this component.

Consumer spending doesn't look like it will be the backbone of the first-quarter GDP report like it was in the fourth quarter, barring that is a standout month for March. Otherwise, wages and inflation are moving in the right direction, that is consistent with moderate economic growth and gradual removal of stimulus by the Fed.

Consensus Outlook
Income proved steady and firm in January but not spending which was soft and which will be held back in February by the month's decline in retail sales. Personal income is seen rising 0.4 percent in February while consumer spending, getting a likely boost from spending on services, is expected to come in at a gain of 0.2 percent. Price data look to remain subdued given the modest results of February's consumer price report. The PCE price index is expected to rise 0.2 percent in February for a year-on-year rate of 1.7 percent with the very closely watched core PCE price index, which excludes both food and energy, also seen up 0.2 percent for a yearly 1.5 percent which would be unchanged from January.

Definition
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
 
[Chart]
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
 
[Chart]
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
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/293/13/294/305/316/297/318/309/2810/2911/2912/21
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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