Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Consumers still spend, real income declines, leaving them vulnerable to price shocks

Consumers still spend, but real income declines, leaving them increasingly vulnerable to price shocks Nominal personal income was unchanged in January, while spending rose 2.1%. In real terms after inflation, personal income declined -0.5%, and personal consumption expenditures rose 1.5%, completely reversing December’s decline, and adding about 0.2%. I have stopped comparing them with their […]

Real spending increases, real income declines in August

Real spending increases, real income declines in August (Note: I’ll report separately on construction spending and the ISM manufacturing index later.) Real personal income and spending held up well throughout the pandemic, due to a vigorous government response. This morning these were reported for the last full month of any assistance. In nominal terms, personal income […]

Not quite enough to start a “double-dip” recession

Real personal spending declines in December, while income rises; not quite enough to start a “double-dip” recession This morning’s report on personal income and spending for December reversed the pattern we have seen all during the second half of 2020. After rebounding strongly for 6 months, real personal spending (blue in the graph below) declined […]