Personal spending in the United States fell 0.5 percent from a month earlier in December 2018, following a downwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in November and compared to market expectations of a 0.2 percent drop. It was the largest decline in personal spending since September 2009. Considering 2018 full year, PCE increased 4.7 percent, faster than 4.3 percent in 2017. Personal Spending in the United States averaged 0.54 percent from 1959 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 2.80 percent in October of 2001 and a record low of -2.10 percent in January of 1987.

Personal Spending in the United States is expected to be 0.50 percent by the end of this quarter, according to Trading Economics global macro models and analysts expectations. Looking forward, we estimate Personal Spending in the United States to stand at 0.50 in 12 months time. In the long-term, the United States Personal Spending is projected to trend around 0.50 percent in 2020, according to our econometric models.

United States Personal Spending
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Calendar GMT Actual Previous Consensus TEForecast
2018-10-29 12:30 PM Personal Spending MoM 0.4% 0.5% 0.4% 0.4%
2018-11-29 01:30 PM Personal Spending MoM 0.6% 0.2% 0.4% 0.3%
2018-12-21 03:00 PM Personal Spending MoM 0.4% 0.8% 0.3% 0.3%
2019-03-01 01:30 PM Personal Spending MoM -0.5% 0.6% -0.2% -0.2%
2019-03-29 12:30 PM Personal Spending MoM -0.5% 0.3% 0.4%
2019-04-29 12:30 PM Personal Spending MoM 0.5%
2019-04-29 12:30 PM Personal Spending MoM 0.2%



US Personal Spending Posts Biggest Fall in Over 9 Years

Personal spending in the United States fell 0.5 percent from a month earlier in December 2018, following a downwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in November and compared to market expectations of a 0.2 percent drop. It was the largest decline in personal spending since September 2009.

The BEA latest report, which has been postponed for almost a month due to the partial government shutdown, includes personal income and outlays for December 2018, as well as personal income for January 2019. Estimates for personal outlays and the personal saving rate for January are not available, according to the source.

Personal Income and Outlays, December 2018

Personal consumption expenditures (PCE) fell by $76.6 billion, or 0.5 percent, in December, following a revised $79.7 billion advance, or 0.6 percent, in November. The decline in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of US GDP, was due to a decrease in consumption of durable (-1.9 percent vs 2.1 percent in November) and nondurable goods (-1.9 percent vs 0.4 percent). Meanwhile, spending for services edged up 0.1 percent, easing from a 0.4 percent gain in the previous month.

Real PCE decreased $77.9 billion, or 0.6 percent, which reflected a decrease of $67.2 billion in spending for goods and a $18.2 billion decrease in spending for services. Within goods, recreational goods and vehicles was the leading contributor to the decrease. Within services, the largest contributor to the decrease was spending for household electricity and gas.

Personal income increased $179.0 billion, or 1 percent, in December, due to increases in personal dividend income, compensation of employees, and farm proprietors’ income. Personal dividend income increased $83.4 billion, primarily reflecting a one-time special dividend payment by VMware Incorporated. Farm proprietors’ income increased $29.2 billion, which included subsidy payments associated with the Department of Agriculture’s Market Facilitation Program.

Personal outlays decreased $71.3 billion in December. Personal saving rose to $1.21 trillion in December and the personal saving rate, personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income, was 7.6 percent.

Disposable personal income increased $173.1 billion, or 1.1 percent, and real DPI increased 1.0 percent in December. The PCE price index increased 0.1 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.2 percent.

Personal Income, January 2019

Personal income dropped $23.8 billion, 0.1 percent, in January. It was the first month of decline in personal income since November 2015 due to decreases in personal dividend income, farm proprietors’ income, and personal interest income that were partially offset by increases in social security benefit payments (related to cost of living adjustments), and other government social benefits to persons, which includes the Child Tax Credit and the Affordable Care Act refundable tax credit.

2018 Personal Income and Outlays

In 2018, PCE increased 4.7 percent, faster than 4.3 percent in 2017. Personal income advanced 4.5 percent (vs 4.4 percent in 2017) and DPI rose 5.0 percent (vs 4.4 percent in 2017). Also, real DPI increased 2.9 percent (vs 2.6 percent in 2017) and real PCE went up 2.6 percent (vs 2.5 percent in 2017).


BEA | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com
3/1/2019 2:20:25 PM



United States Consumer Last Previous Highest Lowest Unit
Consumer Confidence 97.80 93.80 111.40 51.70 Index Points [+]
Retail Sales MoM 0.20 -1.60 6.70 -3.90 percent [+]
Retail Sales YoY 2.30 1.60 11.20 -11.50 percent [+]
Retail Sales Ex Autos 0.90 -2.10 2.60 -4.00 percent [+]
Consumer Spending 13044.25 12953.29 13044.25 1403.69 USD Billion [+]
Disposable Personal Income 15907.00 15942.18 15942.18 351.54 USD Billion [+]
Personal Spending -0.50 0.60 2.80 -2.10 percent [+]
Personal Income -0.10 1.00 4.60 -4.70 percent [+]
Personal Savings 7.60 6.10 17.30 2.20 percent [+]
Consumer Credit 17.05 15.36 118.08 -113.42 USD Billion [+]
Private Sector Credit 9668.03 9630.97 9668.03 39.04 USD Billion [+]
Bank Lending Rate 5.50 5.50 20.50 2.00 percent [+]
Economic Optimism Index 55.70 50.30 62.90 35.80 [+]
Redbook Index 4.90 4.40 9.30 -5.80 percent [+]
Chain Store Sales 7611.00 5637.00 15875.00 3055.00 USD Million [+]
Gasoline Prices 0.61 0.59 1.07 0.24 USD/Liter [+]
Households Debt To GDP 76.40 76.60 98.60 23.80 percent of GDP [+]
Consumer Confidence Current Conditions 113.20 112.50 121.10 57.50 [+]
Consumer Confidence Economic Expectations 80.20 83.90 108.60 44.20 [+]
Consumer Confidence Price Trends 2.70 2.60 10.40 0.40 [+]


United States Personal Spending

Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity in the United States and is a key driver of growth. This page provides the latest reported value for - United States Personal Spending - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. United States Personal Spending - actual data, historical chart and calendar of releases - was last updated on March of 2019.

Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
-0.50 0.60 2.80 -2.10 1959 - 2018 percent Monthly
Current Prices, SA




Country Last Previous
France 1.20 Jan/19
Netherlands 0.90 Jan/19
United States -0.50 Dec/18


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