In July, US personal income picked up rising by 0.3% M/M, in line with expectations, while the previous month’s reading was upwardly revised from 0.1% M/M to 0.2% M/M. Wage and salary rose by 0.4% M/M from 0.1% M/M in June. Even more encouraging were the personal spending data, rising by 0.8% M/M, the sharpest increase since February and significantly above the market consensus of 0.5% M/M. Also the June figure was upwardly revised from -0.2% M/M to -0.1% M/M. The details show that strength was broad-based as consumption for durables rose by 1.9% M/M and for nondurables increased by 0.7% M/M. PCE for services rose by 0.7% M/M. The PCE deflator rose more than expected, by 2.8% Y/Y and core PCE rose by 1.6% Y/Y (from 1.6% Y/Y in June), confirming that the direction in core inflation is upward. The savings rate dropped significantly, from 5.5% Y/Y to 5.0% Y/Y.
The income, but even more the spending data are an encouraging sign with real spending rising by 0.5% M/M in July, indicating that consumers spending picked up at the start of the third quarter. But as consumer sentiment fell sharply in August, the question remains whether spending remained strong in August. Nevertheless, it is fairly safe to see spending contributing solidly to Q3 GDP that may now be expected easily north of 2%. However, a lot of data are evidently missing and so changes to Q3 GDP estimate likely.