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US Personal Income and Spending Surge: Core PCE Holds Steady in September 2023

By:
James Hyerczyk

In September 2023, US personal income rose $77.8 billion (0.3%), spending surged by $138.7 billion (0.7%), and Core PCE inflation held steady at 0.3%.

US Core PCE

Highlights

  • Personal income in the US rose by $77.8 billion in September 2023, with a 0.3% monthly increase.
  • Personal spending surged by $138.7 billion, equivalent to a 0.7% rise, showcasing robust consumer activity.
  • The Core PCE price index remained steady, increasing by 0.3% in September, indicating stable inflation trends.

Income and Spending Rise

In September 2023, personal income in the United States saw a healthy increase of $77.8 billion, marking a 0.3 percent monthly rise. This boost in income was mirrored by a $56.1 billion (0.3 percent) increase in disposable personal income (DPI). On the expenditure side, personal spending surged by $138.7 billion, equivalent to a 0.7 percent rise.

Price Indexes on the Move

The PCE price index showed a 0.4 percent increase in September, with goods and services experiencing varied changes. Goods prices rose by 0.2 percent, while services saw a steeper increase of 0.5 percent. Food prices were up by 0.3 percent, and energy prices exhibited a more substantial increase of 1.7 percent. Excluding food and energy, the Core PCE price index still increased by 0.3 percent.

Real PCE on the Upswing

Real DPI, which accounts for inflation, dipped by 0.1 percent in September. However, real PCE showed resilience, rising by 0.4 percent. This increase was driven by a 0.5 percent rise in spending on goods and a 0.3 percent increase in spending on services. Motor vehicles and parts, including both new and used vehicles, played a significant role in boosting goods spending. Among services, international travel expenditures saw a notable increase.

Personal Savings and Outlays

Personal outlays, including PCE, personal interest payments, and personal current transfer payments, increased by $175.1 billion in September. Meanwhile, personal saving reached $687.7 billion, with the personal saving rate—personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income—standing at 3.4 percent.

Compared to the same month one year ago, the PCE price index for September showed a 3.4 percent increase. This was driven by a 0.9 percent rise in goods prices and a significant 4.7 percent increase in services prices. Food prices were up by 2.7 percent, while energy prices remained relatively stable. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased by 3.7 percent year-on-year.

Updates and Revisions

It’s worth noting that estimates for July and August have been revised. Previous figures for personal income, DPI, and PCE have seen slight adjustments. These updates provide a clearer picture of the income and spending trends over recent months.

In summary, September 2023 brought about positive growth in personal income and spending, despite some fluctuations in price indexes. Real PCE showed strength, particularly in the goods sector. While the personal saving rate remained steady, the PCE price index displayed both monthly and yearly increases, with services contributing significantly to the rise. The revisions to July and August data underscore the importance of accurate economic assessments in understanding the nation’s financial health.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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