Personal Savings Rate Rises To Highest Since January As Spending Grows At Lowest Rate In One Year

Tyler Durden's picture

The latest confirmation that the US consumer is rapidly retrenching ahead of the great unknown which is the US fiscal cliff was the just released May data on Personal Spending and Income, both of which came in as expected, at 0.0% and 0.2% over the prior month. This was the lowest rate of increase in the Personal Spending rate since June 2011, when spending posted a -0.2% decline. This was to be expected considering the ongoing contraction on the income side: "Private wage and salary disbursements increased $1.1 billion in May, compared with an increase of $5.3 billion in April.  Goods-producing industries' payrolls decreased $7.0 billion, in contrast to an increase of $5.6 billion; manufacturing payrolls decreased $4.5 billion, in contrast to an increase of $3.2 billion." The collapse in manufacturing wages was somewhat offset by gains in services: "Services-producing industries' payrolls increased $8.3 billion, in contrast to a decrease of $0.4 billion.  Government wage and salary disbursements increased $0.3 billion, compared with an increase of $0.4 billion." And for the best indication of just how consumers feel about the economy, one just needs to look at the savings rate: at 3.9%, this was the highest savings rate since January as any free money enters not the economy, but bank checking accounts and counterparty risk-free mattresses.

As for the rate of change in spending:

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
ihedgemyhedges's picture

Cue Jan Hatzius and Cue E3....................

slaughterer's picture

People are saving for vacation this summer.  

CPL's picture

Que the milestone for stagflation.  Just like japan, people hide money everywhere.  The banks aren't the only things with saving in them.

ihedgemyhedges's picture

First part of my prediction: check.  That didn't take long.............

fonzannoon's picture

Is this inflationary or deflationary? Sorry to sound stupid.

SheepRevolution's picture

Neither. Strictly speaking, the money supply doesn't change when savings increase.

LULZBank's picture

But banks "deposits" go up, which can be collaterilised for collateral calls incase of downgrades or bets gone bad.

Also, multiplied many times via fractional reserve banking.

So yes, this is inflationary or deflationary.

beentheredonethat's picture

Money velocity has run off its own fiscal cliff. On its way to 0. fed has no bullets- you can print infinite money now, until the complete collapse.

bdc63's picture

"Is this inflationary or deflationary?"

... yes ...

Shizzmoney's picture

It's not stupid to ask, because the situation is really confusing.

Inflation would be the first thing on people's minds b/c of the fact that the markets want QE3 to insure it...but the fundamentals say otherwise (as well as the fact it is an election year).

Considering Oil is at its worse price since 03/08, and corporate earnings are expected to dip since the economy is clearing stalling, I expect deflation to continue for common McStuff like TVs, Cars, Electronic gadgets, etc.  Inventory can't just sit there.....hell, even some retail companies who can't sell their shit are selling it back to their vendors.  This tells me the prices of McStuff is going to continue to fall, including houses.

Now, McStuff isn't food, or rent, or healthcare, or college.  I expect these to continue to rise, because these prices are often manipulated by outside forces that control the "market" we have today (that is, a rigged one), and the forces that control these costs are often big mega-corporations that are protected by governments.  Rent and lodging is going to rise as well, and what's weird about that is that housing prices continue to fall......yet rent is rising because the Millenial generation, for the whole, isn't making any income that keeps up with inflation for shit they need as well as the fact we are deleveraging debt.  So we can't buy houses, but we need a place to live.....that means vacancy rates are low, which is bullish for landlords and higher rents.

Bascially, its a rentier's economy and the 99% of us are living in it.

veyron's picture

It would seem that you are describing biflation.

dwdollar's picture

That might depend whether it's in a savings account or under the mattress.

poor fella's picture

There's something about an ammo box full of cash and PMs.

I have a feeling decades from now, there's going to be a large market for metal detectors and people poking around attics, basements, and in walls for forgotten/lost stashes..

CPL's picture


People save to protect themselves from political retards and hope that the interest rate keeps up with the Government and Central Bank fuckups regarding inflation.


However this doesn't work.  In an inflationary period survival depends on two things.

1)  Spend all your money before it's worthless

2)  Save your money in PM's.  All those Japanese tourist you see visiting have one thing in common.  They don't trust their government as far as they could throw them.


who-is-john-galt's picture

This couldn't possibly be because enough people are realizing that they have to live within their means so others don't have to could it?

Intelligence_Insulter's picture

Living within your means is loser talk.  Fuck off Rand boy

who-is-john-galt's picture

Yes being responsible.  How loserish of me.  How is life on the welfare system?

TrumpXVI's picture

Definitely in my case.  I'm trying to turn myself into a saving machine.  

So I can take a vacation or buy a new car?  

Nope, so I can pay the property taxes on my house and keep a (leaky) roof over my head.

Shizzmoney's picture

If people actually had any means to live on.

But fuck people who can't afford food+rent despite working 2+ jobs.  Yeah, that will show them!

mendolover's picture

I actually admire the CNBS gang this AM who just finished busting balls on the man in lieu of a governor in my home state of CT.  The guy is just a dick.

ihedgemyhedges's picture

Yet this board now knows you watch CNBC.........................

bdc63's picture

saw it too.  now if they would just give the same treatment to the banker crowd -- instead of batting their eyelashes and melting in their pressence -- they might gain my admiration as well.

ihedgemyhedges's picture

Yeah, you just keep waiting for that...............

Stuck on Zero's picture

Your guide to the economy:

Manufacturing sector:  Making things you want.  Cars, iPODs, bathtubs, washing machines etc.

Services sector:  Making you pay for things you don't want.  Lawyers, tax preparers, billing services, enforcers, etc.



Doubleguns's picture

Services sector:  Making you pay for things you don't want.  Lawyers, tax preparers, billing services, enforcers, etc.


You forgot one. Health care tax.

Jim in MN's picture

PhD's in burger flipping and drone assassination.

midgetrannyporn's picture

I wonder if that last rise was almost entirely from the gubbermint house buyer rebate? (Go into debt and the savings rate goes up?)

Longer term chart:

Jason T's picture

rental income .. what's up with this? it's up 16% y/o/y

bdc63's picture

If that's residential real estate rental income, it makes perfect sense.  People losing their homes have to live somewhere, so they become renters.  Increase in rental demand causes increase in rental prices.

That chart is actually text book ... right when our government lowered interest rates and the banks started all of their 'creative financing', rents, which had been steadily increasing, headed south.  As soon as the bubble burst in 2007, rents started climbing (reguardless of what was happening to interest rates).

Now, if that's commerical real estate, it makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Jason T's picture

in other words, as more and more Americans become serfs and have to pay their land"lords" rent to work veggitate on the land watching TV and playing video games, the rental incomes for the land"lords" goes up.  

Shizzmoney's picture

Rents are high in areas of relatively good employment, like NY, SF, and Boston.  Here in Boston, with a vacancy rate of 2%, a studio 4-6x11 often goes for $1200+ a month.  The majority of my friends under 35, unless with a spouse, live with roommates to keep their rents hovering around $500-$700/mth.  This despite the majority of us making less than $35/K a year.

As we would say on ZH, "The math eventually doesn't add up."

Individual indepdence is dying.  This song by "Atmosphere" called "You" details my generation (a young woman who is a waitress) struggles with making it today in a world where the means don't justify the end, but yet are only held up with "pride":

Now attitude check,
Still show up? You haven't quit yet?
And even when you're meek and sweet,
They still treat you like a piece of meat. Huh.
Outrageous, each day this clock tick tock and you still a waitress.
Trying to pay them student loans
And the lights and the phone and the food and the home.
And you ain't quite broke but you couldn't afford that place on your own.
Gotta roommate, to split the rent with
Now you never feel independent.
And everything seems so hallow
Cause after work, where'd that smile go?
Better bring it back tomorrow.
Now, pick up the pace and you might make bar close.

SheepDog-One's picture

'Personal savings'? Pffft....USSC and ObaMao got a solution for THAT little problem with the peasants.

SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Dow up 343 SINCE 2PM YESTERDAY!!!!  If you think the Dow is the economy (as the sheep have been conditioned) ALL IS WELL. 

bdc63's picture

The black swan has seen her shadow and gone back into hibernation.  Good thing Bernanke didn't cave to the pressure and use his last bullets, 'cause this rip-roaring economy doesn't need it.

Cursive's picture

Congress will pass a law that if you don't shop, you will be subject to a 10% retail penalty (SCOTUS: tax).  Persons on food stamps will be exempted.  Problem solved.

bdc63's picture

I think when they stopped calling us "citizens" and started referring to us as "consumers" that was already implied

poor fella's picture

+++++  lol 

You'd think somebody would get this? Do these people call bellmen and valets, 'boy'?

Jim in MN's picture

I've got a mattress to share with the right counterparty.  But I wouldn't call it 'Risk-Free' exactly.

Jim in MN's picture

I like Doug Short's chart for this statistic and the all important real disposable personal income per capita (say that three times fast).


(Not updated yet on the new release)

Signs of the end's picture

These figures are, like figures everywhere, probably manipulated. A downturn in consumer spending does not necessarily translate into an upturn in savings. What it probably means is that people have less access to credit and therefore cannot spend as much, it does not necessarily mean that they are stuffing mattresses! People have little, if any, disposable income left to save (unless you work on one of the top floors on Wall Street!)

Popo's picture

Starting to feel stupid with that domain name yet?

Kaiser Sousa's picture

"One debt coupon dollar...worthless
Each Silver ounce round....priceless"...

azzhatter's picture

I'm pretty much off the grid but I have cut spending by 70% over the past 2 years. We all need to starve the beast, it's the only way to win.

adr's picture

Nike anounced that guidance moving forward will be terrible, and they missed expectations sending the stock down 14%.

Ford said losses in Europe are going to triple by the next quarter.

Yeah, the economy is doing great!

bdc63's picture

In a world where deficits don't matter, I'm guessing profits don't matter either ...

riley martini's picture

 4% is not enough savings with pensions getting wiped out due fraud and wealth transfers to fed supported banks by ZIRP , 1.7%Return on the 10 year UST. Trillions in transfers from bank fraud to tax payers Freddie, Fannie, Fed balance sheet means less for SSI.

MrBoompi's picture

An economy that is harmed when its citizens save more is not a very healthy economy.

Jim in MN's picture

An economy that has manipulated interest rates so badly as to destroy the incentive to save for a generation, and added such deep corruption as to preclude any real rate of return on risk assets, is not just unhealthy.  It is moribund.

Caveman93's picture

Our household "personal" savings rate is closer to 60%. I feel so alone. :(