Americans are making more and spending more, according to a March Personal Income and Outlays report (link opens as PDF) released today by the Commerce Department.
After increasing a revised 0.4% for February, personal income pushed up 0.5% ($78.4 billion ) for March, beating analyst estimates of a slighter 0.4% gain. This report comes at a key moment for employment indicators, after yesterday's employment costs report revealed troubling signs for wage and salary increases.
For the same period, personal spending jumped 0.9% ($107.2 billion ). Once again, analyst predictions proved too conservative, having expected a smaller 0.6% boost.
Both income and spending have increased for every month of 2014, signaling a steady recovery from December 2013, when income dipped 0.1% and spending edged up just 0.1%. In another potential sign of longer-term economic optimism, durable goods spending increased a strong 2.7% after increasing 1.3% in February.
Looking back over the last 12 months, personal income is up 3.4%, while personal spending has grown 4%.
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