Saturday, 30 April 2005

Higher US personal income and spending, but sentiment weakening

There were more economic data coming out of the US yesterday.

The US Commerce Department yesterday released its data on personal income and outlays for March, showing a rise of 0.5 percent in personal income and a rise of 0.6 percent in personal consumption expenditure. Personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income was 0.4 percent in March, falling from 0.5 percent in February.

The personal consumption expenditures, or PCE, price index, rose 0.5 percent in March after climbing 0.3 percent in February. Excluding food and energy, the core PCE index rose 0.3 percent, higher than the 0.2 percent rise in February.

In other news yesterday, consumer confidence turned down, with the University of Michigan's measure of consumer sentiment falling in April to 87.7 from 92.6 in March, while the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago's manufacturing index slipped in April to 65.6 from 69.2.

In the wake of the economic reports of the past few of days, Kash at Angry Bear wonders what the rise in inventories in the first quarter means -- "my guess is that firms will probably try to slow production to reduce their inventories next quarter" -- and then asks how low can the savings rate go.


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