Archive for May, 2013

Real Consumer Spending Slows Slightly

PI_0531_1Personal income remained flat in April after increasing 0.3 percent in March. Wages and salaries, the largest component of personal income, remained flat in April after increasing 0.2 percent in March.

Current-dollar disposable personal income (DPI), after-tax income, decreased 0.1 percent in April after increasing 0.2 percent in March.

Real DPI, income adjusted for taxes and inflation, increased 0.1 percent in April after increasing 0.3 percent in March.

Real consumer spending, spending adjusted for price changes, rose 0.1 percent in April after rising 0.2 percent in March. Spending on services turned down, while spending on durable and nondurable goods turned up.

PCE prices decreased 0.3 percent in April after decreasing 0.1 percent in March. Excluding food and energy, PCE prices were flat after rising 0.1 percent.

PI_0531_2Personal saving rate
Personal saving as a percent of DPI was 2.5 percent in April, the same as in March.

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



GDP Growth Accelerates in First Quarter

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.4 percent in the first quarter of 2013 after increasing 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The first-quarter growth rate was revised down 0.1 percentage point from the advance estimate released in April.

GDP highlightsgdp_1
The following contributed to the acceleration in growth:
• Inventory investment turned up notably, more than accounting for the acceleration in first-quarter GDP growth. Manufacturing turned up, farming accelerated, and wholesale trade declined less than in the previous quarter.
• Consumer spending picked up, reflecting an acceleration in spending for services, mainly for household utilities.
• Federal defense spending fell less than in the previous quarter, more than offsetting a downturn in nondefense spending.
• Exports turned up; the main contributors were “foods, feeds, and beverages” and nonautomotive capital goods.

In contrast, imports turned up, reflecting in part a rebound in nonpetroleum industrial supplies and materials. Also, business investment slowed, reflecting a downturn in structures and a slowdown in equipment and software.

First-quarter revisions
The 0.1 percentage point downward revision to GDP growth for the first quarter reflected downward revisions to inventory investment and to exports. In contrast, imports were revised down, and consumer spending for nondurable goods was revised up.

Corporate profitsgdp_2
BEA released its estimate of first-quarter corporate profits. Profits fell 2.2 percent at a quarterly rate in the first quarter after rising 2.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Profits of nonfinancial corporations fell 0.8 percent at a quarterly rate in the first quarter, while profits of financial corporations fell 0.4 percent. Profits from the rest of the world fell 7.3 percent.

For more on GDP, read the full report.

May 31st Deadline for Returning Completed Foreign Direct Investment Surveys Draws Near

The May 31st deadline is rapidly approaching for people to return their completed BE–12 surveys to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

These surveys are critical to BEA’s ability to produce statistics on foreign direct investment in the United States. The statistics help policymakers and the general public understand the impact of foreign investment on the U.S. economy.

Therefore, it is vitally important that you waste no time in filling out your survey and getting it to us by the May 31 deadline.

We have a set of resources available to help you on our public Web site at From the front page, just click on the tab located on the left-hand side of the screen for information concerning eFile users and BE–12 respondents. Or just click on this link:  From there, you will find:
• A series of online video tutorials that walk you through everything from setting up an eFile password and navigating the eFile system to answering questions on foreign ownership and selecting the appropriate industry classification code.
• A list of frequently asked questions—and their answers—about the various surveys.
• Guides to which survey you need to fill out as well as help sorting through the industry classification system.
• A link to our eFile system.
• PDF versions of the forms and instructions.
•  Contact information for additional assistance. You can call 202–606–5615 or email us at be12/ to connect with one of BEA’s survey experts.