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Economy

Economic Data (USA)

Friday, June 28, 2024

PCE Price Index + Personal Income + Consumer Spending Report for May 2024

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released its report on The PCE Price Index, Consumer Spending and Personal Income for May,  2024:

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Consumer Spending (Personal Consumption Expenditures)

Previous Reading (revised): +0.1%
  • Actual: +0.2%
  • Actual: (2017 Chained* Dollars): +0.3%
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Personal Income

Previous Reading: (unrevised) +0.3%
  • Actual: +0.5%
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  • Disposable Personal Income (DPI), Now Dollars: +0.5%
  • DPI (2017 Chained* Dollars): +0.5%

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The above highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in Consumer Spending (aka Personal Consumption Expenditures), Personal Income and Disposable Personal Income for the entire United States.

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Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) Price Index
Previous Reading: +0.3%
Actual: FLAT 

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.6
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Core PCE Price Index
( = PCE Price Index minus food and energy)
Previous Reading: +0.3%
Actual: +0.1%

  • Change from 12 months previous: +2.6%
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The yellow-highlighted percentages represent the month-to-month change in the prices associated with domestic personal consumption.  The PCE Price Index is different from the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in that it is a very broad measure of the prices associated with domestic products and services, while the CPI measures a more limited fixed basket of goods and services.

The broad nature of the PCE Price Index is key to why it is the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation.  The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) pays very close attention to it.

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The "predicted" figures are what economists were expecting, while the "actual" figures are the true or real figure.

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Click here to view the full
Commerce Department report (PDF)


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CHART: Disposable Personal Income, Outlays + Savings - May 2024 Update
CHART: Disposable Personal Income,
Outlays + Savings - May 2024 Update


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*Chained dollars is a method of adjusting real dollar amounts for inflation over time, so as to allow comparison of figures from different years. The Commerce Department introduced the chained-dollar measure in 1996. Chained dollars generally reflect dollar figures computed with 2012 as the base year.

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Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) for June 2024

Consumer Confidence Index® (CCI) for this month (June, 2024) was released by The Conference Board® this morning:

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Predicted: 99.0
  • Actual: 100.4

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Previous Month (revised): 101.3

  • Change from Previous Month: -0.9% (-0.9 point)
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The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

From Today's Report:

"...Consumers’ Persistent Concerns about the Future Continues to Weigh on Confidence

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index® dipped in June to 100.4 (1985 = 100), down from 101.3 in May. The Present Situation Index -- based on consumers’ assessment of current business and labor market conditions—increased to 141.5 from 140.8 last month.

However, the Expectations Index -- based on consumers’ short-term outlook for income, business, and labor market conditions -- fell to 73.0 in June, down from 74.9 in May. The Expectations Index has been below 80 (the threshold which usually signals a recession ahead) for five consecutive months.

'Confidence pulled back in June but remained within the same narrow range that’s held throughout the past two years, as strength in current labor market views continued to outweigh concerns about the future. However, if material weaknesses in the labor market appear, Confidence could weaken as the year progresses,' said Dana M. Peterson, Chief Economist at The Conference Board.

'Consumers expressed mixed feelings this month: their view of the present situation improved slightly overall, driven by an uptick in sentiment about the current labor market, but their assessment of current business conditions cooled. Meanwhile, for the second month in a row, consumers were a bit less pessimistic about future labor market conditions. However, their expectations for both future income and business conditions weakened, weighing down the overall Expectations Index.'

'The decline in confidence between May and June was centered on consumers aged 35-54. By contrast, those under 35 and those 55 and older saw confidence improve this month. No clear pattern emerged in terms of income groups. On a six-month moving average basis, confidence continued to be highest among the youngest (under 35) and wealthiest (making over $100K) consumers.'

Peterson added: 'Compared to May, consumers were less concerned about a forthcoming recession. However, consumers’ assessment of their Family’s Financial Situation -- both currently and over the next six months -- was less positive.' (These measures are not included in calculating the Consumer Confidence Index®)

Average 12-month inflation expectations ticked down slightly from 5.4% to 5.3%. June’s write-in responses revealed that elevated prices, especially for food and groceries, continued to impact consumers’ views of the economy, followed by the labor market and US political situation. Notably, the share of respondents believing the 2024 election would impact the economy was low in comparison to write-ins in June of 2016 and slightly higher than in 2020.

Consumers were positive about the stock market, with 48.4% expecting stock prices to increase over the year ahead, compared to 23.5% expecting a decrease and 28.1% expecting no change. Meanwhile, the share of consumers expecting higher interest rates over the next twelve months dropped to 52.6%, its lowest level since February.

On a six-month moving average basis, purchasing plans for homes were largely unchanged and remained historically low in June. Buying plans for cars also stalled. Meanwhile, buying plans for most big-ticket appliances and smartphones increased slightly, though fewer consumers planned to buy a laptop or a PC.

The share of consumers planning a vacation† over the next six months continued to increase and remains above last June’s level. More consumers planned to vacation in the United States than abroad. As in recent years, more people plan to travel by car than by plane. Overall, the share of consumers planning to go on vacation is still about 10 percentage points lower than pre-pandemic.
.."

Every month, The Conference Board sends a questionnaire to 5,000 U.S. households. Survey participants are polled about their feelings regarding the U.S. economy, current and future, and about their own fiscal circumstances. On average, 3,500 participants complete and return the 5-question survey.

  • The baseline "100" score for the CCI is associated with 1985 survey data.


When consumers feel good about the economy, they tend to do more spending, and vice versa.

Based in New York City, The Conference Board is a private, not-for-profit organization with a mission to, "create and disseminate knowledge about management and the marketplace to help businesses strengthen their performance and better serve society."

The CCI is usually released on the last Tuesday of the month.

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CHART: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) - June 2024 Update
CHART: Consumer Confidence Index (CCI)
June 2024 Update

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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

U.S. Retail And Food Services Sales Report for May 2024

The Commerce Department this morning released advance estimates of U.S. Retail and Food Services Sales for May 2024:

Previous Month (revised): -0.2%
  • Actual:  +0.09%(+630,000)

The yellow-highlighted percentage above represents the month-to-month , seasonally adjusted change in total sales receipts for retailers that sell durable and non-durable goods, and retailers that provide food and beverage services.

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  • Estimated Retail Sales During May 2024: $703,088,000,000
  • Change From A Year Ago: +2.27% (+$15,618,000,000)

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CHART: Retail Sales - Monthly January 2004 Thru December 2024 Seasonally Adjusted
CHART: Retail Sales - Monthly
January 2004 Thru December 2024
Seasonally Adjusted

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Friday, June 14, 2024

Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May 2024

Earlier this morning, the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics released the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for May 2024:


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CPI During May 2024: 314.069

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Consumer Price Index, Headline

Predicted: +0.5%

->  Actual: +0.17% (+0.521 points) M/M

 > Year-on-Year Change: +3.27% (+9.942 points)


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Consumer Price Index, Minus Food + Energy (Core CPI)

Predicted: +0.5%

 - > Actual: +0.205% (+0.651 point) M/M

Year-on-Year Change: +3.42% (+10.533 points)


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The above, yellow-highlighted figures represent month-to-month change (not seasonally adjusted) in prices for a specific group of goods and services that consumers buy, and is, therefore, a very important part of the overall inflation picture for the country.

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

General categories that constitute the CPI are:

  • Healthcare
  • Housing
  • Clothing
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Transportation
  • Food and Beverages
  • Recreation
  • Miscellaneous Goods and Services (grooming expenses, etc.)

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CPI During May 2023: 304.127

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CHART: Consumer Price Index 12-Month Percentage Change - May 2024 Update
CHART: Consumer Price Index
12-Month Percentage Change
May 2024 Update

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Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Employment Situation Report for May 2024

The Employment Situation Report for May 2024 was released by The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning:

Nonfarm Payrolls (month-to-month change)
Actual: +272,000
Previous Month (Revised): 165,000
One Year Previous: 303,000

U-3 Unemployment Rate (Headline)
Actual: 4.0%
Previous Month: 3.9%
12 Months Previous: 3.7%

U-6 Unemployment Rate*
Actual: 7.4%
Previous Month: 7.4%
12 Months Previous: 6.8%

Average Hourly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Predicted: +0.4%
Actual: +0.403% (+$0.14)

Average Hourly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Predicted: +4.1%
Actual: +4.08% (+$1.37)

Average Weekly Earnings (month-to-month change)
Actual: +
0.402% (+$4.80)

Average Weekly Earnings (year-on-year change)
Actual: +3.78% (+$43.63)

Civilian Labor Force Participation Rate: 62.5%
Previous Month: 62.7%
12 Months Previous: 62.6%

Average Workweek: 34.3 hours
Previous Month: 34.3 hours
One Year Previous: 34.4 hours

Economist, academics, central bankers and investors pay very close attention to the monthly Employment Situation report as it offers penetrating insight as to the current and near-future state of the overall U.S. economy. If a) Americans are earning more money and b) the economy is creating new jobs, this typically translates to more money being pumped into the economy (and vice versa.)

The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

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CHART: Civilian Unemployment Rate May 2004 THRU May 2024
CHART: Civilian Unemployment Rate
May 2004 THRU May 2024

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 * =  The U-6 Unemployment Rate is defined as:

"Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force."

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Friday, June 07, 2024

New Unemployment Insurance Claims for The Week of June 1, 2024

Jobless Claims
Jobless Claims


Earlier today, the Labor Department released its weekly report on New Jobless Insurance Claims for the week that ended on June 1, 2024:

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Predicted: 220,000

  • Actual: 229,000
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The yellow-highlighted figure represents the number of first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the entire United States. The "predicted" figure is what economists were expecting, while the "actual" is the true or real figure.

  • Previous Week (revised): 221,000
  • 4-Week Moving Average: 222,250

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