Personal Income, Spending Both Come Slightly Above Expectations, Savings Rate Unchanged

Tyler Durden's picture

March Personal Income comes at 0.5% on expectations of 0.4%, while spending is also 10 bps higher than consensus of 0.5% printing at 0.6%. Sizable prior revisions see February income of 0.3% revised to 0.4%, while spending was revised from 0.7% to 0.9. As a result the February savings rate we revised lower to 5.5%, which is where the March savings rate came as well. Not surprisingly, the "rental income" which as explained before is what is known as Squatters rent, continues to come in strong, increased by $8.7 in March (over $8.1 billion in February). Following some timing offsets in the tax code, Disposable personal income (DPI) -- personal income less personal current taxes -- increased $64.4 billion, or 0.6 percent, in March, compared with an increase of $49.6 billion, or 0.4 percent in February. The GDP critical PCE increased 0.4 percent in March, the same increase as in February. The PCE price index, excluding food and energy, increased 0.1 percent in March, compared with an increase of 0.2 percent in February.

Then again, none of these numbers matter:

As part of the annual revision of the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), revised estimates of personal income and outlays will be released along with estimates for June 2011 on August 2.  Personal income, disposable personal income, and their components will be revised back to January 2006, and PCE and personal saving will be revised back to January 2003.  The August Survey of Current Business will contain an article that describes the annual revision in detail.

Chart of the all critical revised savings rate:

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Why do we even pay attention to the economic numbers when we know they are manipulated and distorted?

Gubbmint Cheese's picture

Who junked CD for THAT comment????

Sheeesh people.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I have a shadow junker who, when he or she can actually drag their ass out of bed in the morning, follows me around Zero Hedge all day junking every comment I make. Some days s/he sleeps in and other days s/he is active.

I consider it an honor that I'm stalked.

Flakmeister's picture

Yep.... got me a secret admirer or two as well...

trav7777's picture

I'm good for seems like at least 2 or 3 even if I post 2+2=4

Flakmeister's picture

I once got junked for posting e^(i pi) + 1 = 0

Flakmeister's picture

Grima, is that you slinking around again? I mean that is now twice I have been junked for

e^(i pi) + 1 = 0

I take it as a badge of honor.. 

Wynn's picture

Why do people continue to bitch about junks? It has always been, and continues to be, ZH's most asinine feature. *Junk* is useless, it doesn't deter the trolls, and many people take offense when they see valid comments negatively marked as such.


SheepDog-One's picture

I remember when ZH had the +1.

SheepDog-One's picture

I guess such 'data' keeps the 401K bathrobe brigades watching CNBC amused.

UGrev's picture


Agreed. Too much "new math" and not enough fact. 

  1. People HAVE to spend because stuff is so expensive now they can't buy gas, food, clothing (necessities) AND save at the same time. 
  2. A lot of us who are lucky enough spend it on storing our wealth in hard, physical, shiny stuff. Some of it goes bang. 
  3. and a bunch of other thoughts, but I have a morning phone conference to call into now... so use your imagination ;)

Aristophanes's picture

Peter Schiff put it something like this (roughly quoted):

The government sees nothing as wrong.  Five years ago a family lived in a Mc-Mansion, spent $1000 dollars a month on heating and $500 a month on groceries.  They are doing the same now.


The difference they don't see is that they are now huddled heating 2 rooms of the house, behind on their mortgage and now the $500 of groceries per month includes dog-food and raman.

tarsubil's picture

Well yeah. Don't you see? The house has lost value so that balances out the loss of quality in living.

But seriously, I've debated with numerous people who really think that is true.

firstdivision's picture

But then the distortions are revised on the following release.

Sudden Debt's picture

It shows 2 things that are important:

1. Spending is up because rising food prices and gas prices

2. More money goes to basics, so less money goes to luxeries.

That is important because it gives a previes to the sales numbers of luxery goods that will be down.

Don't forget income didn't go up accordingly.


Hondo's picture

Wages and Salary Income only....up 0.3%

Government Transfers ......up 1.1%

We're going in debt to pay ourselves.



101 years and counting's picture

tax filing refunds peak in March. 

Caviar Emptor's picture


40+ million food stamp recipients. 2+ million in US jails (food AND board included). Only 50% of eligible US tax payers actually pay tax. 

The new economy: we'll do each others laundry

UGrev's picture

The new economy: we'll do each others laundry

Spot on. I was thinking someothing smimilar when I read that McDonald's hired 62k workers... service based economies last how long again?

SheepDog-One's picture

Yes McD's supposedly hired 62K, but the same story also reported 850K applications for part time min wage jobs were turned away! The real story.

UGrev's picture

and the even more real story is you can't run an economy on fast-food alone. 

poor fella's picture

We'll give it a damn good try for sure.

jmc8888's picture

Or that it takes 1 hour of work to purchase said 'value meal' with fries and a drink. 

How many people have gone somewhere, ordered a premium burger or whatever, got the curly fries, and the large drink, handed them a 10 spot, and got a quarter and a penny back?

The people that work at fast food, can no longer afford to eat fast food.  Uh oh.

Now of course some places give you free/discounted food...but that's one place. 

It's just sad we live in a country where the value menu at the cheapest of places, is unaffordable.

That and a million people (there were over a million applied), many with college degrees, were turned away from working at a place, that can't even pay for a value meal at one of it's competitors for 1 hour of work.

Gubbmint Cheese's picture

People feelin flush now that they got that cherry job at Mickey D's...

SheepDog-One's picture

Diamond encrusted Filet'o'Fishs, bitchez.

poor fella's picture

We will absolutely know the SHTF when Taco Bell puts the salsas behind the counter. "Sorry, two per item. There's a 25 cent surcharge after that."

Drag Racer's picture

awesome, more crap to ignore.

kito's picture

come on, zh readers ignore the numbers that dont further our cause, but jump all over the numbers when then do?

SheepDog-One's picture

I dont know who youre talking about, I've said 'ignore these forged govt documents' for many years. Besides its always last months data 1930's style economic reporting so who cares?
Wall St can now HFT trade and shave 1/4 point at the speed of light, but all we can see is thru the rear view mirror to last month? All BS.

Gubbmint Cheese's picture

So the govt numbers are all legit? How's that 2% a year inflation thing working out for you?

Caviar Emptor's picture

Figures don't lie but liars can figure. Read between the lines

SheepDog-One's picture

All about keeping things looking normal to keep the panicky herd placated a bit longer till the wheels fly off this rickety unstable contraption hurtling down the hiway.

pre's picture

These numbers just don't tell us anything about the distribution of personal income and savings.  It is entirely possible that the personal income and savings of a majority of Americans dropped, but income and savings of the top 0.1% increased dramatically.  That has been the trend lately.

SheepDog-One's picture

The top .05% have never been wildly richer! Just read an article about a $100 million home being bought by some hedge fund manager, so he could tear it down and build a $250 million dollar home!

slowimplosion's picture

A 0.1% variation in any of these stats is NOISE.  It has no meaning whatsoever, even if you did believe it was true.

trav7777's picture

Icanhaz rally now?

earnulf's picture

Seems to me that people are waking up to the fact that if you don't spend today, it will cost more tomorrow.   This despite the fact that there is no inflation (core), those evil speculators are pushing up prices (does that include the FED/Stocks?), and the economy is growing (not sure what it's growing, but it must be some good stuff).

Is this just the warmup for the main event, where we have to buy things as soon as we get paid because if we go to bed they will cost more when we wake up?    Just wondering......

BORT's picture

From looking at the data, it seems the largest growing item of income is government payments of social security.  I think the only number we need to know is 2011-1946=65.  We will see a growing number of people who are dropping out of the workforce and beginning to draw social security.