Americans are making more and spending more, according to a February Personal Income and Outlays report (link opens as PDF) released today by the Commerce Department.
After bumping up 0.3% for January, personal income increased another 0.3% ($47.7 billion) for February, beating analyst estimates of a 0.2% gain.
Private wages and salaries increased $13 billion overall, compared to $17.2 billion for January. While services-producing industries' wages and salaries increased $7.8 billion and goods-producing industries added on $5.2 billion to wages and salaries, manufacturing payrolls tapered off $0.3 billion.
Supplements to wages and salaries -- including employer contributions to pensions and for government social insurance such as Social Security -- also increased less, up $2.9 billion for February after gaining $4.9 billion the month before.
While personal income increased incrementally over the past couple months, personal spending has been gaining speed. Spending increased 0.1% for December, 0.2% for January, and 0.3% for February. Analyst predictions for February proved spot on.
In a potential sign of longer-term economic optimism, durable goods spending edged up 0.1% after falling 0.4% for January.
Looking back over the last 12 months, personal income is up 3.1%, while personal spending has increased 3%.