Personal Income and Spending Up 0.2% for March

Personal income, disposable personal income, and personal spending all bumped up 0.2% for March, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens in PDF) released today.

After the percentage increase in income outpaced the spending increase for February, this newest report puts making money and spending money on a more even keel. Market analysts had expected a 0.4% increase in personal income, and only a 0.1% bump in consumer spending. In terms of what people were paying, analysts' predictions of a 0.1% drop in the price index for personal consumption expenditures proved accurate.

On an absolute basis, private wages and salaries increased $14.9 billion overall (0.2%) from February to March, although the last three months have seen a $15 billion drop in annualized wages and salaries due to fiscal cliff tax-hike fears that drove up income in 2012.

Personal savings, the difference between disposable personal income and personal spending, remained steady at $329.1 billion in March, equivalent to a 2.7% savings rate.

Looking back over the last year, consumer spending has increased 3.5%, outstripping personal income's 2.5% bump by a full percentage point.

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