In October personal income increased 0.5%, and personal spending increased 0.6%. These are both very strong increases. Further, as the graph below shows, real inflation adjusted income and spending both also rose:
These are coincident indicators that form part of the quintessential nowcast. Real personal income adjusted by transfer payments and real personal spending are two of the very series the NBER looks at to determine the onset and ending of recessions.
As a result, they don’t tell us anything about where we are going vs. where we’ve just been. Further, because these have been subject to very dramatic and very late (as in, years later) revisions, I’m putting even less stock in them. Still, I’d much rather they be strongly positive than negative, so this is evidence that the consumer economy remained strong in the first part of this quarter.