Archive for May, 2014

Real Consumer Spending Falls in April

PI_5_30_14Personal income increased 0.3 percent in April after increasing 0.5 percent in March. Wages and salaries, the largest component of personal income, increased 0.2 percent after increasing 0.6 percent.

Current-dollar disposable personal income (DPI),
after-tax income, increased 0.3 percent in April after increasing 0.5 percent in March.

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

Real consumer spending, spending adjusted for price changes, decreased 0.3 percent in April after increasing 0.8 percent in March. Spending on durable goods decreased 0.5 percent after increasing 3.7 percent.

PCE prices increased 0.2 percent in April, the same as in March. Excluding food and energy, PCE prices rose 0.2 percent in April, the same as in March.

Personal saving rate
Personal saving as a percent of DPI was 4.0 percent in April and 3.6 percent in March.

Read the full report.


GDP Declines in First Quarter

GDP_5_29_14 Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 1.0 percent in the first quarter of 2014, according to the “second” estimate released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter of 2013, real GDP increased 2.6 percent.

First-quarter GDP highlights
The decline in real GDP was more than accounted for by a significant decline in inventory investment, notably by motor vehicle dealerships. In fact, GDP less inventory investment (real final sales of domestic product) rose 0.6 percent in the first quarter.

Declines in exports, in business investment, in state and local government spending, and in housing investment also contributed to the decrease in first-quarter real GDP.

In contrast, consumer spending increased, notably in health care and in home utilities.

 First-quarter real GDP growth was revised down 1.1 percentage points from the advance estimate released in April, based on newly available source data.

  • Inventory investment was revised down, mainly in retail trade, in manufacturing, and in mining, utilities, and construction.
  • Imports were revised up, notably in foods, feeds, and beverages and in petroleum and related products. Partly offsetting this revision, exports were also revised up, notably in nonautomotive capital goods and in automotive vehicles, engines, and parts.

Corporate profitsProfits_5_29_14
BEA’s featured measure of corporate profits declined 9.8 percent in the first quarter, after increasing  2.2 percent in the previous quarter. The  decline was the largest since the fourth quarter of  2008.

  •  Profits of nonfinancial corporations fell 8.1  percent after rising 1.5 percent.
  • Profits of financial corporations fell 15.0 percent  after rising 1.3 percent.
  • Profits from the rest of the world fell 9.1 percent after rising 5.5 percent.

Over the last 4 quarters, corporate profits fell 3.0 percent.

Read the full report.

Restructured International Accounts to Offer More Detailed Look at U.S. Trade and Investment

In June, BEA’s international data will be getting a new look, giving users more detail on the U.S. economy’s relationship with the rest of the world in the most significant restructuring of BEA’s international data since 1976. The restructured accounts will provide greater and more complete information about the global financial picture and the United States’ place in it.

• With the June 4 International Trade in Goods and Services report, the number of services categories available monthly will expand from seven to nine. Also, seasonally adjusted trade in goods and services will now be available for selected countries and areas.

• With the June 18 release of the quarterly International Transactions Accounts, users will get additional detail on trade in goods and services in the current account, while the financial account will be reorganized and expanded to include additional detail by instrument, by sector, and by maturity. For trade in services, the number of sub-categories available quarterly will expand from 10 to 20.

• With the June 30 release of the quarterly International Investment Position, users will get additional detail on the maturity of investment. Data on direct investment positions will be reported on an asset and liability basis, like a balance sheet.

These changes will align U.S. data more closely with updated international guidelines, such as the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6). Keeping up with international guidelines makes it easier for users to compare U.S. data with data from our major trade and investment partners. Several industrialized countries have already incorporated these new standards into their international accounts.

More information on the upcoming changes is available here.

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