A new report from the U.S. Department of Commerce showed that personal income for Americans rose by 0.4 percent in September, in line with expectations. During this same period consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy (GDP), jumped by 1.0 percent. That was better than anticipated and the largest monthly gain since August 2009.
However, after-tax, inflation-adjusted income was flat in September following the previous month’s decline, suggesting that consumer spending could be even stronger if wage growth was accelerating. Moreover, Americans’ personal saving rate fell to just 3.1 percent in September, the lowest reading since December 2007 when the “Great Recession” started. Elsewhere in this report are the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price indices, the Federal Reserve’s preferred measures of consumer inflation. On a year-over-year basis, core PCE rose by just 1.3 percent in September, one of the slowest paces of annual growth recorded in the past two years and well below officials’ 2 percent “target.” Altogether, muted inflation pressures and modest spending growth should make it easier for the Fed committee to continue to justify its gradual pace of interest rate hikes
Sources: Econoday, Bloomberg, ZH, U.S. DoC, FRBSLPost author: Charles Couch