Please consider the BEA's Personal Income and Outlays Report for January and February (partial).

Due to the recent partial government shutdown, this report combines estimates for January and February 2019. January estimates include both personal income and outlays measures, while February estimates are limited to personal income. Estimates of outlays for February will be available with the next release on April 29, 2019.


  • Real Income was up 1.0% in December but consumer spending fell 0.6%.
  • Real income in January fell 0.2%.
  • Economists at Econoday expected 0.3% spending growth in January but consumers only mustered 0.1% growth,
  • There are no spending results or real numbers for February due to a lingering impact of the government shutdown.


Please recall that income in December was distorted by one-time factors as discussed on March 1 in Personal Income and Outlays for December.

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.

First-Quarter Trouble

Econoday commented: "Nearly all the readings in today's set of data miss the consensus with January consumer spending pointing to opening trouble for first-quarter GDP and the weakness in core prices raising the risk that the Federal Reserve may soon be defending the downside of its 2 percent inflation target. On both scores, the balance for neutral monetary policy tilts, however slightly, toward the rate-cut side."

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Personal Income and Outlays for Dec, Income Only for Jan: Spending -0.5% in Dec

The BEA's reports were among those delayed in the shutdown. Consumer spending is still delayed.

Make Less, Spend More: Real Income Declines but Spending Jumps in March

The BEA finally caught up with the government shutdown. It released February and March spending and income data today.

Personal Income Up But Real Consumer Spending Declines Second Month

The BEA’s Personal Income and Outlays report shows personal income rose 0.4% but consumer spending rose a scant 0.1% in February.

Personal Income, Spending, PCE Inflation “Unexpectedly Weak”: Real Income and Spending Decline

The BEA reports “Real DPI decreased 0.1 percent in August and Real PCE decreased 0.1 percent. The PCE price index increased 0.2 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1 percent.”

Personal Income Flat, Consumer Spending Weak, Real Disposable Income Down

The BEA’s report on Personal Income and Outlays for November was not exactly what the cheerleaders expected or the Fed Wants.

Personal Income Jumps But Spending Weak

Personal income rose 0.4% in August but spending, both nominal and real, rose a weak 0.1%

Personal Income Jumped in January, But It's a One-Time Deal

Personal income rose 0.6% in January. Real income rose 0.5%. Spending rose 0.2% and real spending only 0.1%

Personal Income Up 0.1%, Spending Up 0.6%: What's the Problem?

Personal Income is up 0.1%, spending is up 0.6%. Real Disposable Income is up 0.1%, real spending is up 0.4%.

Wholesale Inventories Rise Slightly Following Big Jumps in December and January

Wholesale inventories rose 0.2% in February. The inventory to sales ratio is elevated.