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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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Thursday, November 10, 2011

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

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Bureau of Economic Analysis data showed that personal income increased $17.3 billion (0.1 percent) and disposable personal income (DPI) increased $12.9 billion (0.1 percent) in September. Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $68.7 billion (0.6 percent). Real (inflation-adjusted) DPI decreased 0.1 percent while real PCE increased 0.5 percent.
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With such an imbalance between the change in incomes and outlays, the personal saving rate dropped to 3.6 percent, well off the recent peak of 5.3 percent seen in June.
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Consumers stepped up spending on retail goods in September, by 1.1 percent -- the largest gain in seven months. Vehicle sales saw the biggest jump ($2.4 billion or 3.6 percent) among the various categories; without the auto category, retail sales rose by 0.6 percent.
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Total consumer debt outstanding increased in September, rising by a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 3.6 percent. Although some other categories ticked higher, the vast majority of the increase in consumer debt originated with student loans.

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