Personal income fell a minuscule $5.6 billion for April to remain virtually unchanged, according to a Commerce Department report (link opens in PDF) released today. With disposable personal income down 0.1% and personal spending down 0.2%, the new report hints at more hesitant consumers.
Analysts were once again underwhelmed, having overshot March's income prediction by an unrevised 0.2 percentage points. For April, analysts expected a 0.1% rise in personal income and no change in consumer spending levels.
Manufacturing payroll knocked $2.1 billion off their books, while goods-producing wages fell $2.0 billion. Although government wages and salary squeaked up $0.2 billion and the services sector added $3.7 billlion, the overall change remained negligible.
Inflation also fell 0.3%, although the dip was due mostly to cheaper energy and core inflation remained unchanged .
Over a long-term perspective, April's numbers hint at slow but steady gains. Both personal income and consumer spending are up 2.8% compared to April 2012, while core inflation remains at a reasonable 1.1%.