Archive for March, 2014

Real Consumer Spending Rises in February

PersInc_Feb_2014Personal income increased 0.3 percent in February, the same as in January. Wages and salaries, the largest component of personal income, increased 0.2 percent after increasing 0.3 percent.

Current-dollar disposable personal income (DPI), after-tax income, increased 0.3 percent in February, the same as in January.

Real DPI, income adjusted for taxes and inflation, increased 0.3 percent in February after increasing 0.2 percent in January.

Real consumer spending, spending adjusted for price changes, increased 0.2 percent in February after increasing 0.1 percent in January. Spending on nondurable goods increased 0.3 percent after decreasing 0.9 percent.

PCE prices increased 0.1 percent in February, the same increase as in January. Excluding food and energy, PCE prices rose 0.1 percent in February.

Personal saving as a percent of DPI–the personal saving rate–was 4.3 percent in February and 4.2 percent in January.

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PersInc_Feb_2014_Chart

GDP Growth Slows In Fourth Quarter

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the “third” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The growth rate was 0.2 percentage point more than the “second” estimate released in February. In the third quarter, the growth rate was 4.1 percent.

Fourth-quarter GDP highlightsGDP_4q_3rd_2013
Consumer spending rose 3.3 percent, the highest since the fourth quarter of 2010, reflecting spending on housing and utilities, health care, and food services and accommodations. In the  third quarter, consumer spending rose 2.0 percent. Exports also accelerated in the fourth quarter.

These accelerations were more than offset, however, by a downturn in inventory investment, a  larger decrease in federal government spending, and a downturn in housing investment.

GDP revisions
The upward revision to real GDP growth reflected the incorporation of newly available source data. Consumer spending was revised up (mainly services), while business investment (mainly intellectual property products) and inventory investment were revised down.

Personal income and personal saving
Real disposable personal income (DPI)—personal income adjusted for inflation and taxes—increased 0.8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 3.0 percent in the third quarter. Personal saving as a percent of DPI was 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with 4.9 percent in the third quarter.

Fourth-quarter corporate profitsCorpProfits4q_2013
Profits grew 2.2 percent at a quarterly rate, compared with 1.9 percent in the third quarter.
Profits of nonfinancial corporations rose 1.5 percent, profits of financial corporations rose 1.3 percent, and profits from the rest of the world rose 5.5 percent.

Annual corporate profits
In 2013, corporate profits rose 4.6 percent at an annual rate, compared with 7.0 percent in 2012. Profits of nonfinancial corporations rose 5.2 percent, profits of financial corporations rose 8.2 percent, and profits from the rest of the world fell 0.7 percent.

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Value of Both Foreign Investments in the United States and U.S. Investments Abroad Increased in Fourth Quarter 2013

The U.S. net international investment position was -$4,577.5 billion (preliminary) at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013 as the value of foreign investments in the United States exceeded the value of U.S. investments abroad. At the end of the third quarter, the net position was -$4,171.8 billion (revised).

USDIAandFDIUS_4q_2013

• The $405.7 billion decrease in the net position reflected a $777.8 billion increase in the value of foreign-owned assets in the United States that exceeded a $372.1 billion increase in the value of U.S.-owned assets abroad.
• The U.S. net international investment position decreased 9.7 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with a 6.4-percent increase in the third quarter and an average quarterly decrease of 6.3 percent from the first quarter of 2011 through the third quarter of 2013.
• The decrease in the net position in the fourth quarter was attributable to the valuation changes of foreign-owned assets in the United States that were $211.7 billion larger than the valuation changes of U.S.-owned assets abroad, and net inflows of $194.0 billion.
• U.S.-owned assets abroad were $21,963.8 billion at the end of the fourth quarter compared with $21,591.7 billion at the end of the third quarter.
• Foreign-owned assets in the United States were $26,541.3 billion at the end of the fourth quarter compared with $25,763.5 billion at the end of the third quarter.

Read the full report.