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Macro Pulse highlights recent activity and events expected to affect the U.S. economy over the next 24 months. While the review is of the entire U.S. economy its particular focus is on developments affecting the Forest Products industry. Everyone with a stake in any level of the sector can benefit from
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Saturday, May 7, 2011

March 2011 Personal Income and Outlays, Retail Sales and Consumer Debt

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Bureau of Economic Analysis data showed that personal income increased $67.0 billion (0.5 percent), and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $64.4 billion (0.6 percent) in March. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $60.7 billion (0.6 percent), much of the rise went to higher priced food and fuel. Real DPI (DPI adjusted to remove price changes) increased 0.1 percent while real PCE increased 0.2 percent.
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Retail sales rose by 0.4 percent during March, the ninth straight month of increases. All categories advanced expect for motor vehicles sales, which declined by 1.5 percent.
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Total consumer debt outstanding increased for a sixth month in March, at seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 3.0 percent. All of the increase was due to seasonal adjustments, as both the revolving and non-revolving categories shrank in not-seasonally adjusted terms. As we have seen before, the federal government was the debt holder with the largest increase in non-revolving debt (+$6.2 billion, not seasonally adjusted), which implies more individuals took out student loans in March. Financial institutions saw a small expansion in revolving credit.

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