Personal Income and Expenses (February 2012)
Personal Income - Month/Month +0.2%
Consumer Spending - Month/Month +0.8%
PCE Price Index - Month/Month +0.3%.
Higher Consumer Spending is a positive for the economy. PCE is an inflation gauge for consumer spending.
The charts below are of real (inflation adjusted) Disposable Income and real Personal Consumption Expenditures.
Consumer Sentiment (March 2012)
- Consumer Sentiment - a survey measure of predisposition to spend - was 76.2 up from the previous 74.3 and at its highest level since the recovery started.
- This supply side index fell from 64.0 to 62.2 in March.
The picture here is an example of the continuing frustration of trying to balance wholesale and retail. It is not indicative of anything fundamental. Ultimately it is the consumer who determines where his disposable income goes.
WSJ has a piece stating that "the euro-zone economy likely entered recession in the first quarter."
Here in the U.S. the 1stQ2012 will close tomorrow and the preliminary 1stQ2012 GDP will be released in 4 weeks on Friday April 27.