US personal consumption

Here’s the BEA up top summary:

Personal income increased $87.6 billion (0.4 percent at a monthly rate) in August, according to estimates released today by the Bureau of Economic Analysis… Disposable personal income (DPI), personal income less personal current taxes, increased $46.6 billion (0.2 percent) and personal consumption expenditures (PCE) increased $83.6 billion (0.4 percent). The PCE price index increased 0.4 percent. Excluding food and energy, the PCE price index increased 0.1 percent… Real DPI decreased 0.2 percent in August and real PCE increased 0.1 percent; goods decreased 0.2 percent and services increased 0.2 percent…

The Wall Street Journal frames these results with, “Consumer spending, the economy’s main engine, has been strong much of this year. A solid labor market and slower price increases have boosted Americans’ inflation-adjusted incomes, propelling purchases… Some of the factors that helped consumer spending in the past two years are fading and signs of stress are emerging: Many Americans are dipping into savings. The personal saving rate, a measure of how much money people have left each month after outlays and taxes, has trended down.”

Nominal food consumption increased slightly. Real consumption declined ever so slightly (see chart below) from about 1155 billion 2017 dollars in July to about 1153 billion 2017 dollars in August. Food prices can be volatile. But not this year. Demand and supply have found a working balance.