Archive for April, 2013

Real Consumer Spending Increased in March

pi_1Personal income increased 0.2 percent in March after increasing 1.1 percent in February. Wages and salaries, the largest component of personal income, increased 0.2 percent in March after increasing 0.7 percent in February. Wages for services industries’ slowed, while wages for goods industries turned down slightly.

Current-dollar disposable personal income (DPI), after-tax income, increased 0.2 percent in March after increasing 1.1 percent in February.

Real DPI, income adjusted for taxes and inflation, increased 0.3 percent in March after increasing 0.7 percent in February.

Real consumer spending, spending adjusted for price changes, increased 0.3 percent in March, the same increase as in February. Purchases of durable goods turned down slightly.

PCE prices decreased 0.1 percent in March after increasing 0.4 percent in February. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index remained flat in March after increasing 0.1 percent in February.

pi_2Personal saving rate
Personal saving as a percent of DPI was 2.7 percent in March, the same as in February.

To learn more about personal income and outlays, read the full report.

GDP Growth Picks Up in the First Quarter

Real gross domestic product (GDP) accelerated in the first quarter of 2013, increasing 2.5 percent after increasing 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.gdp_1

First-quarter highlights
The pick up in real GDP growth was largely accounted for by a rebound in inventory investment, mainly reflecting an upturn in manufacturing and a smaller decrease in wholesale trade. Farm inventory investment also picked up. In addition, consumer spending accelerated, primarily reflecting a pick up in spending for services (mainly household utilities), and exports rebounded, mainly due to upturns in foods, feeds, and beverages and in nonautomotive capital goods.

In contrast, imports turned up, reflecting in part an upturn in nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials. Also, business investment slowed, reflecting a slowdown in equipment and software (mainly in information processing) and a downturn in structures.

Personal income and personal savinggdp_2
Real disposable personal income, which adjusts for inflation and taxes, fell 5.3 percent in the first quarter after rising 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter. The change reflected the following:
• A downturn in dividend payments, after companies accelerated payments to the fourth quarter.
• An acceleration in contributions for social insurance, which are subtracted when calculating personal income, due to the expiration of the “payroll tax holiday.”
The personal saving rate—saving as a percent of disposable personal income—was 2.6 percent in the first quarter, compared with 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

Prices
Prices of goods and services purchased by U.S. residents slowed in the first quarter, increasing 1.1 percent after increasing 1.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Energy prices turned down, and food prices slowed slightly. Prices less food and energy increased 1.3 percent after increasing 1.2 percent.

For more on GDP, read the full report.

Durable-Goods Manufacturing Led Growth in 2012

gdp_indy1Durable-goods manufacturing, finance and insurance, and wholesale trade services were the leading contributors to U.S. economic growth in 2012, according to advance statistics on the breakout of real gross domestic product (GDP) by industry from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

  • Manufacturing value added rose 6.2 percent after increasing 2.5 percent in 2011. Durable-goods manufacturing led the growth in 2012, increasing 9.1 percent.
  • The services-producing sector grew 2.4 percent, matching the 2011 growth rate. The leading contributors to the increase were finance and insurance services and wholesale trade services, which increased 3.6 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively.

GDP prices decelerated, increasing 1.8 percent in 2012 after increasing 2.1 percent in 2011.

  • gdp_indy2Value-added prices for the private goods-producing sector decelerated in 2012, increasing 0.9 percent after increasing 5.6 percent in 2011. Nondurable-goods manufacturing was the leading contributor to the deceleration in the GDP price index for 2012.
  • Value-added prices for the private services-producing sector increased 1.7 percent in 2012 after increasing 1.5 percent in 2011, reflecting accelerated growth in prices for finance and insurance and for professional, scientific, and technical services.

To learn more about GDP by industry, read the full report.