Each day the Research staff takes a look at recently released economic indicators, addressing what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses personal income and consumer sentiment.
- Personal Income and disposable personal income each increased by 0.2 percent in February, a good but not overly strong increase. At the same time, personal consumption expenditures increased by 0.8 percent. This brought the personal saving rate down to 3.7 percent in February from 4.3 percent in January.
- Separately, consumer sentiment improved, perhaps explaining the increase in consumption and slippage in savings rate. The index of consumer sentiment rose from 75.3 in February to 76.2 in March and is nearly 13 percent higher than the reading one year ago.
- The increase in sentiment was driven largely by an improvement in consumers’ current situation. The current situation index was up 3.6 percent from February to March in spite of rising gas prices as consumers reported income gains and job opportunities. These survey responses suggest that an increase may be in store for March income data when it is reported next month, and that further consumption growth may continue.