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Personal Income Shows No Sustainable Progress Since April of 2020

Three rounds of fiscal stimulus have kept income elevated but the impact is wearing off.
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PCE, Personal Income, PCTR 2021-08

Last Friday, the BEA released its Personal Income and Outlays report for August.

Nominal Stats

  • Personal Income: +0.2% from July
  • Disposable Personal Income: +0.1% since July
  • Spending rose 0.8% following a 0.1% decline in July.

Inflation Adjusted Stats

  • Real Disposable Personal Income: -0.3% since July
  • Real Spending rose 0.4% following a 0.5% decline in July.

Income Flatlines

Three rounds of fiscal stimulus, easily visible in the top line of the chart have kept personal income intact throughout the entire pandemic. 

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Personal Current Transfer Receipts (PCTR) remains elevated since April of 2020. 

PCTR includes food stamps, three rounds of Covid stimulus, federal pandemic unemployment benefits and other social handouts. 

Real (inflation adjusted) income and real spending are well below the nominal numbers as inflation takes a toll. 

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