2018 Economic Calendar
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Personal Income and Outlays  
Released On 4/30/2018 8:30:00 AM For Mar, 2018
PriorPrior RevisedConsensusConsensus RangeActual
Personal Income - M/M change0.4 %0.3 %0.4 %0.2 % to 0.4 %0.3 %
Consumer Spending - M/M change0.2 %0.0 %0.4 %0.3 % to 0.5 %0.4 %
PCE Price Index M/M change0.2 %0.1 %0.0 % to 0.2 %0.0 %
Core PCE price index - M/M change0.2 %0.2 %0.1 % to 0.3 %0.2 %
PCE Price Index Y/Y change1.8 %1.7 %2.0 %1.8 % to 2.1 %2.0 %
Core PCE price index - Yr/Yr change1.6 %2.0 %1.8 % to 2.1 %1.9 %

Highlights
Core inflation is suddenly very near the Federal Reserve's target, at a year-on-year 1.9 percent in March for a 3 tenths gain for this which is the most closely watched of all inflation indicators. But the gain reflects an easy comparison with March last year when a plunge in wireless service prices pulled readings down. The monthly gain for the core relative to February this year is only a modest 0.2 percent.

Turning to other readings in the report, consumer spending rose an as-expected 0.4 percent in the month though February is revised 2 tenths lower to no change. Spending on durables jumped 0.8 percent, reflecting March's big gain in auto sales, while spending on services, by far the largest consumer category, rose an outsized 0.6 percent. But spending on non-durables fell 0.4 percent for a second straight decline.

Income data are subdued in today's report, up only 0.3 percent on the month, which is just below Econoday's consensus, with the wages & salaries component rising only 0.2 percent and well down from 0.4 percent in February and 0.5 percent gains in the prior three months. The savings rate is also soft, down 2 tenths to 3.1 percent to suggest that March's rise in consumer spending came at the expense, at least to a degree, of savings.

The year-on-year core reading for this report is a shot across the bow for this week's FOMC meeting where no action is expected. And though it is fed by an easy comparison and may fall back in next month's report, the result will liven up the inflation debate especially at a time when capacity stress and import tariffs are emerging price factors. As for spending, the data for March, though solid, are offset by the February downgrade and follow only a 0.2 percent gain in January, making for a subdued quarter as evidenced by last week's GDP report where inflation-adjusted spending managed only a 1.1 percent annualized growth rate.

Consensus Outlook
Econoday's year-on-year consensus for the core PCE price index is expected to jump from 1.6 percent to 2.0 percent and suddenly hit the Federal Reserve's price target. Yet the expected monthly increase is a less spectacular 0.2 percent which would shift focus to the easy 2017 comparison for the yearly rate. The PCE price index is not expected to show much pressure at all, up only 0.1 percent on the month for a year-on-year rate of also 2.0 percent. Personal income is seen rising 0.4 percent while consumer spending is also expected to come in at 0.4 percent.

Definition
Personal income represents the income that households receive from all sources including wages and salaries, fringe benefits such as employer contributions to private pension plans, proprietors' income, income from rent, dividends and interest and transfer payments such as Social Security and unemployment compensation. Personal contributions for social insurance are subtracted from personal income.

Personal consumption expenditures are the major portion of personal outlays, which also include personal interest payments and transfer payments. Personal consumption expenditures are divided into durable goods, nondurable goods and services. These figures are the monthly analogues to the quarterly consumption expenditures in the GDP report, available in nominal and real (inflation-adjusted) dollars. Economic performance is more appropriately measured after the effects of inflation are removed.

Each month, the Bureau of Economic Analysis also compiles the personal consumption expenditure price index, also known as the PCE price index. This inflation index measures a basket of goods and services that is updated annually in contrast to the CPI, which measures a fixed basket.  Why Investors Care
 
[Chart]
Changes in taxes or social security cost of living adjustments can cause some sharp variations in monthly disposable income growth. However, on the whole, monthly changes in disposable income fluctuate less than monthly changes in personal consumption expenditures.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
[Chart]
Monthly changes in personal consumption expenditures are usually skewed by large changes in spending on durable goods. Spending on nondurable goods and services tend to be less volatile from one month to the next.
Data Source: Haver Analytics
 
 

2018 Release Schedule
Released On: 1/293/13/294/305/316/297/318/309/2810/2911/2912/21
Release For: DecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNov
 


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